As he moved further out onto Stansbury Lake, Tooele County Sheriff's Lt. Herman Herrera could feel the ice underneath him giving way.

"I was able to scurry out real quick for about the first 30 yards and then I broke through the ice," he said Friday.

The ice that has frozen the waters in Tooele County isn't as thick as it appears, which has authorities urging people to be careful this weekend as they venture out onto frozen lakes and ponds. Within the last two days, the Tooele County Sheriff's dive team has had to respond to calls about two dogs trapped when the ice beneath them gave way.

Wearing a dry suit, Herrera managed to push through to rescue a dog frantically paddling in the frigid waters near the Stansbury causeway on Thursday.

"It was probably a 60-to-70 pound dog. They get pretty heavy," he said. "This one started scurrying towards me paddling hard. I threw it back on top of the ice."

On Friday morning, deputies were dispatched to Lakeview on another report of a dog trapped in the icy waters. By the time dive team members arrived, the dog's owner was paddling out to the animal in a canoe. The dog was ultimately rescued.

With more snow in the forecast, Herrera is worried that people will get a false sense of security about the ice.

"Every year we see more and more people on the ice either playing hockey or ice skating," he said.

From the shore, the snow lays down a thick blanket over the ice and makes it appear sturdy. In reality, it gets thinner the further out you go.

"The dog made it about halfway across the lake," Herrera said. "You could see a trail where he tried to jump back on the ice and kept breaking through."

E-mail: [email protected]