Theo Parvarie, an 11-year-old Aberdeen schoolboy, discovered a terrapin trapped in a frozen puddle at a park. He broke the ice and freed the turtle's legs. He brought the wounded animal to his teacher who then contacted the SPCA.
The animal is now recovering at the Scottish SPCA's Aberdeenshire Animal Rescue and Rehoming Centre in Drumoak. She has been named Theodora, after her rescuer.
As terrapins require heat, Theo's rescue saved her life, an officer for the Scottish SPCA told BBC News.
"We can't be sure how she got there but we can't rule out the possibility she was dumped," Animal rescue officer Karen Hogg told BBC News.
"Theodora was extremely cold and, as terrapins require heat, she wouldn't have survived for much longer if she hadn't been rescued. She is underweight and her shell is in very poor condition so it seems she hasn't been receiving the proper care she needs."
She adds, "Theodora is now doing really well and we're hopeful she'll soon make a full recovery."
An SPCA officer recently visited Theo's school. The Prevention Through Education programme instructed Theo on what to do and who to call in a situation like the one with the terrapin.
"One of the key messages is that children should ask a responsible adult to call our helpline if they find an animal in distress, which is exactly what Theo did," Hogg said.