A lost pit bull named Duke spent hours stranded and confused on the icy Delaware River Sunday afternoon near the Calhoun Street bridge in Trenton.
The dog roamed back and forth from the Trenton side to the Pennsylvania side as dozens of onlookers on both sides of the river tried to rescue the animal. The hopes of those looking on to rescue the dog were thwarted by the ice jam that took over the river, coupled with chilly temperatures, the feeling was one of desperation to get the dog on land.
The temperature was between 17-23 degrees in Trenton at that time, according to First Alert Weather meterologist Tedd Florendo.
A man working nearby the bridge, who did not want to be identified, shared that he got a call that a dog was walking along the ice just after 2 p.m.
"First he was on the Pennsylvania side, then he went toward the New Jersey side. The dog was about 10 feet from me, but wouldn't come any closer," the worker said. "He didn't look aggressive just scared. People looking on were almost to tears over this dog."
A frantic few hours passed as people tried unsuccessfully to call the dog ashore.
The Trenton Fire Department was at the scene, but determined it was not safe to send firefighters onto the river. Residents and onlookers nearby grew more concerned trying to figure out how to get the dog off the frozen body of water. Trenton emergency responders remained on the scene.
"At one time we thought we'd have to leave the animal at the river because it was getting dark," said rescuer Richard Hutchinson.
Hutchinson was one of the animal loving do-gooders who felt compelled to help. Two men risked their own safety, walked onto the river and rescued the dog. They brought the pooch to safety on the kayak. The dog was taken to the West Trenton Animal Shelter where it was reunited with its owner.
"I just want to thank the guys again for rescuing my dog and risking their lives to save his," said Keonna Wilson, Duke's grateful owner.