In honor of it being Animal Control Officer Appreciation week, today’s blog will focus on an outstanding animal control officer that is a forever hero to one family and their dog.
Molly, a one-year-old Labrador belonging to Butch and Debra Chiles, was playing outside in their yard on a chilly March day. Though their pond was icy and frozen over, the Chiles never worried about Molly approaching it because she never liked the water.
However, it wasn’t long that they were outside when Debra heard whimpering. She was shocked to see Molly in the middle of their pond, the ice cracking. Molly begin to fall through and was struggling to stay afloat in the icy water.
Debra, unable to swim and worried that she would put both her and Molly in peril if she tried to save her, panicked and called 911.
Officer Don Wortham arrived within minutes of the call. Molly had been struggling in the water for almost half an hour. Within seconds, Wortham had roped himself and was entering the water. Thankfully, he had been Navy-trained as a diver and knew how to avoid hypothermia. Wortham slowly made the perilous trek across the ice, which was 12 feet deep in some places. He fell through midway across but was able to pull himself back up and reached Molly safely. He managed to grab her out of the water and slide her safely across the ice.
Wortham didn’t relent for a second. He just kept pulling the rope to get Molly back to the arms of her owners.
All animal control officers are heroes, and Don Wortham is just another one of the amazing officers we have to thank this week!