A dog’s rescue journey united the community of Sylvan Lake earlier this month.
During the first week of May, Illish the dog went missing unexpectedly for nearly 24 hours.
The dog was located on May 3, stranded out on the ice of Sylvan Lake was brought home with the assistance of members from the Sylvan Lake Fire Department and Red Deer Search and Rescue.
“The Search and Rescue team and Fire Department never gave up on trying to get our dog off the ice and we are so very appreciative for their perseverance and persistence,” said Lana Mathers.
Illish had some torn-up paw pads but overall is recovering from the ordeal.
“Her paw pads were very badly cut up from the ice so we are doing dressing changes on them every second day but overall she is eating, drinking and sleeping very well and happy to be home.”
The ordeal all started at 4 p.m. on May 2 when Lana and Shayne Mathers arrived in Sylvan Lake at Lana’s brother’s home.
The car was parked in the driveway and the dogs were out of the vehicle and put into the gated fully fenced backyard.
In the backyard, Illish was wearing a collar and clipped to a lead tied to a fence-post.
After ensuring the dogs were secure Shayne and Lana went into the house for 20 minutes before coming back to check on them.
The gate was open, Illish was gone with all that remained was her collar attached to the lead.
The search for Illish started immediately in the streets and alleys closest to where they were staying — the couple not yet knowing that their dog had ran down to the lake.
Searching for hours the couple reached out to people on social media with a picture of their pet.
At 6:30 p.m. a message came in.
A dog matching the description of Illish had been seen on the ice.
After the discovery, Search and Rescue were notified and made a rescue attempt on May 2nd along with a volunteer citizen who took their boat out on the lake to search until dark.
That night Lana and Shayne also connected with the fire chief.
“Call once you have a confirmed sighting of her,” the staff at the fire department said.
Illish’s rescue would have to wait until the next day.
On May 3, Search and Rescue went down to the lake four times with their final attempt to rescue Illish being done in an air-boat which was unsuccessful.
By this time the Fire Department had also been notified and had received numerous calls from bystanders who had seen Illish.
With the sighting confirmed the Fire department arrived and rescued Illish from the ice.
The rescue wouldn’t have been possible without the help of the community, Darcy and Kim Rosie for helping in the search by providing the use of their drone which was used to locate Illish, Red Deer Search and Rescue and the Sylvan Lake Fire Department.
Despite a hectic couple of days, the family is happy to have their dog back safe and sound.
“Our dog was rescued, we were so relieved and extremely grateful,” Lana Mathers said.