It’s difficult to predict how we would react in a life-or-death situation to save an animal; those who do so deserve the title of ‘hero’.

Don Chatten was out walking his two dogs in Buffalo, New York, on a bitterly cold day when a woman approached him, asking for his help in finding her small dog.

Don didn’t hesitate to lend his assistance, but upon locating the missing pooch, he realized the imminent danger and knew he had to act swiftly.

The dog had fallen into icy waters at Ellicott Creek Park, and Don knew he didn’t have much time to save her.

According to WKBW News, waist-deep in icy water, Don called 911. However, fearing they might arrive too late, he made the split-second decision to rescue the dog himself.

Despite his best efforts to crawl across the ice, it broke beneath him, plunging him waist-deep into the freezing waters.

“I knew it wasn’t really deep in this part because I used to come here when I was a kid,” Don explained to WKBW News.

The shivering dog was then taken to the vet to be checked over, according to the news station. Watch the video below.