A young dog who survived the treacherous journey from a yard in Red Hook to Jersey City after a quick swim in the East River is scheduled to be released from the emergency veterinary office where he’s recovering from his journey on Wednesday afternoon.
After a 10 day, six-mile trek across New York and New Jersey, the eight-month-old German Shepherd-Akita mix named Bailey was taken to a 24-hour emergency shelter, Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group in Brooklyn, with wounds over his right ankle and paw, as well as abrasions to his face.
“He is all healed and ready to go home,” said Dr. Dong-Woo Jin, a DVM in VERG’s Surgery Department, in a release. “He had lost some weight while running around the city, but he’s back to normal and is doing great except for some trust and behavioral issues.”
According to VERG, Bailey maneuvered out of his fenced-in yard in Red Hook on Apr. 29. After his escape, the dog was seen swimming in the Gowanus Bay before being guided back to shore. However, Bailey soon vanished again.
Days after his initial escape, Bailey was spotted near the Brooklyn Battery Tunnel entrance. New York commuters began sharing on social media that a dog was running loose in the tunnel and a police officer monitoring the situation said Bailey had exited in Manhattan at Trinity Street.
“We were doing everything we could to track him down, but as quickly as we would find out where he was, he was gone,” said Harriet Zucker, the director of Red Hook Dog Rescue, who had been working with Bailey on his behavioral issues before his escape. “I just couldn’t believe he had made it to Manhattan, especially because he had never been out on his own like that before.”
Zucker soon received a call from Port Authority police stating Bailey was seen in the North Tube of the Holland Tunnel where he crossed over into Jersey City. There, Bailey was finally captured in the parking garage of a Home Depot and taken to VERG for his injuries. Zucker is raising money for Bailey’s medical and training bills via GoFundMe.
“We’re just so glad he’s safe and doing well. Despite the ruckus he caused over that week and a half, he really is a loving puppy when you gain his trust,” said Zucker, who plans to take Bailey to another dog-training facility after his release from VERG. “With a little more training and the right home, he’ll make a great companion.”