COLUMBIA, Mo. - With frozen ponds and lakes around Mid-Missouri, many people may feel tempted to walk on them and even bring their pets along as well, but Boone County Fire Protection District officials remind residents that you and your pets could face danger.
According to Boone County Fire, one of the things about the ice here in Mid-Missouri is that it's very difficult to know how thick it is and how safe it is.
One Columbia resident, Ally Tucker, said what probably most pet lovers would do in the event that they find their four-legged friend in danger.
"I probably (would) go in after him cuz he's my best friend, but I also am a med student so I know what the dangers of that are," Tucker said.
Tucker was visiting Twin Lakes Monday morning and said thankfully her dog doesn't like the water.
Boone County Fire official Gale Blomenkamp tells ABC 17 News that even when signs are not posted, it's best to keep your dogs on a leash to save them from jumping in or on these frozen ponds and lakes.
"You just never know. Ice goes through free thaw here in Mid-Missouri; like today, it's 36 degrees. The ice is thawing out now," Blomenkamp said.
Blomenkamp also said many drowning victims are people who go into the water to rescue others and that includes when they try to save animals.
The city of Columbia does provide locations for people to be on the ice --like the Stephens Lake Park, where they drill test holes to make sure the ice has been checked up to 4 inches thick. But even locations like them don't check the park on the weekends and weather is unpredictable.
In the event you don't see any signs, experts say to just stay off the ice and if you do find someone in danger, it's best to remain calm and call 911 first.