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EXCLUSIVE: Pit bull owner sez Brooklyn-Queens Expressway pooch ran away

Help: A group of dog lovers rallied to rush this pit bull to the hospital after it fell onto Meeker Avenue from the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway.
Lacie Zassman

The owner of the pit bull that appeared to have been thrown off the Brooklyn-Queens Expressway came forward to claim his pooch on Thursday, saying it ran away on Tuesday afternoon in Greenpoint, hours before its near-fatal fall.

The owner of the dog said he last saw the pet at the corner of Bayard Street and Graham Avenue, when the fido wriggled out of his collar and bolted down the street. He searched all day and called several shelters for the pup, whose real name is Wookie, he said. Then, on Wednesday, he saw news reports about a pit bull that fell from the sky onto Meeker Avenue at 6:20 pm the previous evening and realized it was his, which the vet hospital treating Wookie confirmed. The discovery left him gobsmacked, he said.

“I feel how anyone else would feel right now,” Oliver Rivera said. “Holy s— — I have horrible feelings about this.”

The dog suffered many injuries in the fall, including a collapsed lung, a sprained front leg, and broken teeth, according to the vet hospital.

Witnesses say the dog appeared to have been thrown over the edge of the elevated highway, but police say they are investigating and that it may have wandered onto the fast-moving road and been hit or jumped on its own.

A group of bystanders rushed Wookie to Veterinary Emergency and Referral Group, a 24-hour animal hospital in Cobble Hill, where vets are treating it for his injuries. The vet clinic said Rivera seems to be acting in good faith and that police must bring whoever is responsible to justice.

“It does not sound like any wrongdoing on the part of the dog owner,” said hospital spokeswoman Maria Moss-Davidson. “Now we want to know how he got on the BQE and did someone throw him off. This happened during rush hour. Someone must have seen something. If there really is a monster who would throw a dog off of an overpass, that person needs to be prosecuted.”

Wookie, who is a year old, will likely have to stay at the hospital for at least another week and might have to have abdominal surgery, but is expected to survive, Moss-Davidson said. Rivera sure hopes so.

“He is a super dog,” he said. “I hope he will be fine and can still run.”

The animal activist organization Positive Tails will pay for all of Wookie’s medical bills, Moss-Davidson said.

Reach reporter Danielle Furfaro at dfurfaro@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-2511. Follow her at twitter.com/DanielleFurfaro.

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