A brave Peterborough dog walker has been praised after diving into a lake to rescue a pet pooch.
Tom Wright was walking Simba, a bull mastiff, when the dog chased a flock of ducks into Eye lake.
With no thought for his own safety, Tom, who runs a dog walking business dived in to the water to pull Simba to safety.
Simba’s owner, Nadeem Qureshi, thanked Tom for his efforts in rescuing his pet - although dog walkers are being warned by Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service not to dive into open water to save animals.
Tom, of Wright Walkies, said: “I was walking by the lake, and had let Simba off his lead for the first time. I have walked him four times, so know the dog well. Although I had been told he was scared of water, so was not expecting it.
“He saw some ducks and went on after them into the water. He was quickly in the deep end, and could not swim.
“I dived in to pull him back. I didn’t realise he weighed about eight stones - they are pretty heavy, oven if he is only 10 months old.
“I was already quite wet as it had been raining, but I forgot I had my phone in my pocket and £100 cash.
“I just acted on instinct. I love animals and always put them first.”
Owner Mr Qureshi said: “Tom was absolutely brilliant - I can’t fault him - he is so dedicated.
“We have had Simba since he was a pup. He had a bad experience with water when he was a pup, so I didn’t think he would do that.” However, despite Tom’s bravery, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue have urged people not to try and rescue pets from the water.
Watch commander Rob Cowling said: “We know dogs are man’s best friend, but we would never encourage people to try and rescue an animal in water. You do not know the hazards that lie beneath the surface and may end up in difficulty yourself.
“The best thing to do is not let your dog off the lead near open water, but if you do and your pet ends up in difficulty, call the fire service on 999 and give clear details of your location.”