WATCH: Gage County deputy rescues dog from icy pond near Pickrell

LINCOLN, Neb. (KLKN) – A Gage County deputy took a dip Thursday to save a dog that had fallen through an icy pond near Pickrell.

Around 5:50 p.m., Deputy Thomas Smith was sent to an area near Southwest 29th and West Cherry Roads on a report of a dog that was trapped in an icy pond.

“As time went on, you can hear the dog’s bark changing, and you can hear it start to yelp and whine,” Smith said. “Time is running out, and we need to do something. That’s when the time was like, ‘Alright, we need to figure out how we can get me in there.'”

In body camera footage, you can see and hear Smith trying to coax the dog out of the pond as he tries to figure out what to do next.

“We had a set of waders and a hammer and some rope,” he said.

Despite the lack of equipment, Smith was determined to get to the dog.

Smith used a hammer and his bare hands to break the ice, which can be seen in body cam footage.

He said he was working against the clock.

“It was scary because the last bit of ice I broke, the dog actually fell back and went under the water,” Smith said. “So I had to reach under and grab him by the scruff of the neck. I was scared there.”

Luckily, he was able to help the dog back to shore and reunite him with his family.

The dog, named Wally, is doing much better.

Channel 8 was able to witness Smith and Wally’s reunion the day after the scary incident.

Smith said he was happy to see the dog recovering.

“I knew the dog meant something to someone,” he said. “I could only imagine myself in that position and wanting my dog saved. I’m glad I got to be that guy.”

Smith said he wasn’t planning on jumping into freezing-cold water, but situations like these are why he wanted to become a deputy.

“At the end of the day, I’m human,” Smith said. “Take this vest off, and you would never know I was a cop. I want to make that very clear that if you ever need help, don’t be afraid to turn to us. Granted, I didn’t have all of the equipment, but neither did the next guy, so at that point, it’s ‘let’s work together’. I want to put the human to the badge rather than the badge standing over the human.”

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