Step into Don Chatten’s house, and it’s clear he loves animals.
He has two dogs of his own, and a pig that belongs to his daughter lives with them, too.
Chatten says the dogs alerted him to look down at the water at Ellicott Island Bark Park on Thursday.
“My dog Milo, he stopped and looked down at the water. I thought he was looking at a duck, or a bird, or something of that nature,” Chatten said. “I said ‘come on, let’s go,’ so I starting pulling him to go and get in the car, and they both stopped, and looked again, and then I heard a faint whimper.”
That’s when he saw the small black dog that he and the owner of the missing dog had been looking for. Chatten, who knew the owner was on the other side of the island, headed straight for the water.
Samantha Kelly posted photos of the dramatic-looking rescue. She shared the pictures to Facebook, which have gone viral
The dog’s name is Jackson, according to his owner. He says Jackson may have run into the water thinking the ice was solid. Jackson was taken to the veterinarian to be treated for hypothermia. After staying there overnight, the pup was released on Friday.
Pictures show Chatten in the creek, with water waist-high, carrying Jackson to the shore. He says he hardly thought twice about going into the icy water.
“At first, I was like ‘Okay, what do I do?’ I was kind of panicked a little bit. But once I got down there, I said…well, it’s the dog or me getting a little wet,” Chatten said of his bold decision.
Jackson’s owner is now trying to get in touch with that hero to thank him. Chatten says he looks forward to meeting again under calmer circumstances.
Chatten says he’s aware that thousands of people are praising his actions that likely saved Jackson’s life.
“I didn’t want all this actually. But it’s good to get recognized for something, and I’ll do it agan if it was tomorrow. I mean, I’m a dog lover, and I don’t want to see any dog get hurt, and I’m just glad that I could help,” he said.