Police service dog rescues intoxicated Ontario woman who fell into icy creek

A police service dog is being credited with helping to save an Ontario woman’s life, after she wandered away from her friends in frigid temperatures and fell into a creek while intoxicated.

Durham Regional police officers responded to a report of a missing person on Maple Beach Road in Brock Township around 2 a.m. Sunday, at a time when temperatures had dipped to about -6 C.

A 40-year-old woman was visiting friends when police say she wandered from the house in an intoxicated state and was not dressed for the sub-zero conditions.


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Police service dog Riot immediately began tracking the woman with his handler Det.-Const. Jeff Burns and the assistance of a helicopter. They located her in a wooded-area behind the residence she had gone missing from.

The unnamed woman was face-down beside a creek with her legs fully submerged in icy, running water. She was carried from the creek bed and taken to a local hospital for treatment of her injuries and exposure to cold.

Police said about an hour had gone by from her friends noticing she was missing to the time she was located, but Sgt. Bill Calder said that if the ordeal had gone on much longer the woman could have died.

Calder added that police pinged the woman’s cell phone, which identified a 10-km radius she was inside, but  it was the quick actions of Riot that located the woman.

The woman is recovering in hospital in serious condition but Calder said the extent of her injuries could have been much worse had she remained exposed to the cold much longer.