Firefighters from St Annes fire station, the RSPCA, and volunteers from Homeward Bound animal rescue were called to the lake at 7.40am to reports that a passer-by had attempted to free the terrified animal, but had been bitten in the process.
Rescuers used a snare to secure the dog and bring it safely to shore, and it was taken to the Veterinary Health Centre in Lytham.
Homeward Bound volunteer Kim Millard said: "The dog was so distressed. He was very, very cold and needed warming up. It looks as though it has been tied up, and then has chewed through its lead, fallen in the lake and gotten tangled. The lead was snagged, and he would have been exhausted. He was just hanging onto a bar in the middle of the lake.
"We don’t know how long it was there for. Possibly it was in there from last night, possibly early this morning.
"Once he mustered up enough energy, all he wanted to do was get into the crate. He was so anxious.”
She added that the rescue had not received any recent reports of missing pet German Shepherds in the area, leading her to believe that the dog had been abandoned.
RSPCA Animal Rescue Officer Kelly Nix said:
“When we arrived, this poor German Shepherd was cold and absolutely terrified. For his safety as well as ours, we put him on a grasper and covered him with a blanket which helped to calm him down.
“We moved the portable kennel close to him and managed to coax him in. Once he was secure, the Fire & Rescue Team helped us to transport the kennel to our van, and we took him to a local vet. They put him in a heated room to dry off and calm down, and will give him a full examination when he is settled.
“He was microchipped, but it is registered to the original breeder who is not the current owner. This incident shows just how important it is to ensure your pet is microchipped and their details kept up-to-date.
“There is an awful possibility that this dog had been deliberately tethered to a buoy in the water.”
Fears have now arisen for the future of the dog due to it lashing out when it was first discovered.
Homeward Bound founder Wendy Mulela said: “The dog has bitten because it has been in a situation that has terrified it. That’s not to say by any stretch that it’s a dangerous dog. They reach a level where they can’t think of anything else to do. If I had been trapped in a freezing cold lake all night I would not be in the best state of mind either.
"My gut feeling is that the dog has been abandoned. Maybe the dog was tied up somewhere else and then fell into the water, because the alternative is too monstrous for words.
"Nobody has come forward to say their dog is missing. Unfortunately a few years ago we had a similar situation where a dog had been abandoned, chewed through its lead, and then it was killed on a road. It does happen. People tie their dogs up an abandon them and there’s no need for it at all.”
A fire service spokesman said: “The incident involved a dog that was trapped in a body of water which was approximately eighteen inches deep. Firefighters rescued the dog from the water and has been passed over to the care of the RSPCA. Crews were in attendance for approximately one hour.”
Thanks for reading. If you value what we do and are able to support us, a digital subscription is just £1 for your first month. Try us today by clicking HERE.