October 25, 2014

Partly sunny with showers

Warden rescues dog from frozen Black River

ELYRIA — What could have come to a cold, sad ending Monday became a heartwarming tail, er, tale, thanks to Nelson Delgado, Lorain County chief deputy dog warden.

About 3 p.m. Monday, Delgado and Deputy Dog Warden Brian Moore responded to a report of a German Shepherd trapped on the ice of the Black River by the 600 block of East River Road. Delgado said a neighbor told him the dog had been stuck on the river, pacing back and forth since about 1p.m., unable to climb up the approximately 100-foot embankment. Buddy, a 6-year-old purebred, had gotten loose from his home at 118 Lincoln St., said his owner, Jerry Ferrell, when reached later.

Buddy, 6, is home with Nikki Molnar and Jerry Ferrell after a lucky rescue along the Black River on Monday. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

Buddy, 6, is home with Nikki Molnar and Jerry Ferrell after a lucky rescue along the Black River on Monday. KRISTIN BAUER/CHRONICLE

With the temperature about 2 degrees at the time, according to the National Weather Service, the 175-pound Delgado worried about crashing through the ice if he went out to try to grab Buddy. “There was no way I was going to walk on that ice,” said Delgado, who said he performed a similar rescue on the ice about eight years ago.

Delgado and Moore drove to the other side of the riverbank and then walked down to the embankment to Buddy, who was happy to see them.

“He was like, ‘Oh, man, somebody’s going to take me out of here finally,’” Delgado said. “It was so cold over there.”

Holding onto a tree with his left hand, Delgado used a nylon leash with a loop to lasso Buddy and pull him from the ice. A video taken by Moore shows Delgado rescuing Buddy and Delgado and Buddy scrambling up the steep, snowy embankment. “Good boy,” Delgado told Buddy.

Ferrell said Buddy had been let out in the front yard at noon and apparently chased a cat or squirrel from the yard and got lost. Ferrell said he and his girlfriend, Nikki Molnar, had been searching for Buddy for three hours and had become extremely worried, due to the severe cold.

Ferrell said he was grateful to Delgado and Moore for their efforts in the bone-chilling cold. “It was just amazing that someone would put the time in to do that,” Ferrell said.

The 48-year-old Delgado, hired in 1997, said Buddy was grateful when dropped off at Ferrell’s home and licked his hand when Delgado left.

“He was like saying, ‘Hey, thank you,’” Delgado said. “He was very happy to be back home.”

Contact Evan Goodenow at 329-7129 or egoodenow@chroniclet.com

  • http://politicsarepersonalblog.blogspot.com/ Suzan Smith

    Nice to see a dog warden who really cares for animals. Good Job!

  • Mike Smeck

    A HUGE Paws Up High Five to Nelson Delgado!!! YOU Rock!!!

  • nikki

    Thank you we are very greatful for the rescue and happy buddy is back home buddy is thankful for Nelson and the rescue and happy to be home he loves you

  • Larry Crnobrnja

    Good job, Nelson Delgado!

  • Phil Blank

    I’m glad the dog is safe and has a home or I would have taken him.

  • Denise Caruloff

    a beautiful dog..and a heart warming story on such a cold day…I bet his poor foot pads were raw from the cold ice….please don’t let your pets out with
    out being on a chain and with them..this story could have ended so differently…great job warden…I know that made your day even in the cold.

  • Earl K.

    Good job! Looks like a very happy, very poopy guy lol!

  • Rick Glime

    Way to go chiefy! That’s why you are the man!!

  • John Demirjian

    good rescue.

  • D Frye

    You saved his life! What a good person you are-you went the extra mile.