LAKEVILLE — Lakeville firefighters are reminding residents that ice is unsafe, after the failed rescue attempt for a dog that fell through the ice on Thursday morning.

Lakeville Fire Chief Michael O'Brien wrote in a message that fire crews responded to reports of a dog through the ice at the end of Plymouth Street just after 8 a.m. Thursday.

O'Brien arrived first to find a dog had fallen through the ice into the frigid water around 600 feet from the shore.

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The chief wrote that bystanders were trying to rescue the dog, but stopped when firefighters arrived to take over.

Crew members used a rescue sled to try to get to the dog, but according to O'Brien, "the thin ice gave way multiple times, preventing the rescuers from advancing quickly out to the dog."

One firefighter eventually made it within 50 feet of the dog — but by this point, the exhausted animal had submerged.

"I made the difficult decision to cease rescue operations and pull the struggling rescuer back to shore," O'Brien wrote.

Rescue operations were called off and the last rescuer left the ice by 8:45 a.m., according to the chief.

He called it a "difficult decision" on the "reasonable and appropriate level of risk to save an animal," noting that the tactics minimized the risk to first responders and "did not approach what would have been employed for a person."

The condition of the ice and the distance of the dog from the shore were cited as reasons for the rescue's failure.

"The department will review performance and identify our deficiencies," the chief noted, sending condolences to the family and adding that "we are...very saddened by the loss of the dog."

Neither the dog nor its family were identified.

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