NYPD harbor patrol rescues pooch from freezing waters

Georgia is now back home with her loving family


By Chelsia Rose Marcius
New York Daily News

NEW YORK, N.Y. — Georgia — by all accounts a peach of a pooch — is back with her loving family after an eagle-eyed couple spotted her treading water in frigid Jamaica Bay and flagged down a NYPD patrol boat.

Carol DeNaro and her husband Scott DeNaro, owners of Harbor Optics Family Eye Care in Rockaway Beach, were pulling into work Wednesday morning when they saw an animal in the bay, far out from the shoreline. A fence separates their store’s parking lot from Jamaica Bay.

“My husband said, ‘What is that in the water? It looks like a seal!’ ” recounted Carol.

“And we kind of watched for a minute or two [before] he [Scott] said, ‘No, maybe it’s a duck because it’s bobbing up and down.’ And then I said, ‘Oh my God, I think it’s a dog!’ And then we just kind of went into rescue mode.”

Scott ran to the store, where he planned to grab a ladder he figured would help rescue the dog. Meanwhile, Carol began calling for the pup to come ashore.

“I went around the fence line, got on one of the pillars in the water. and stood holding onto the fence screaming for the dog, who responded to my voice and started to swim toward us,” Carol said.

Moments later, the DeNaros noticed an NYPD harbor unit patrol boat by the ferry dock about a third of a mile from their store — not far from the swimming dog.

“As I was yelling for the dog to come, my husband was trying to flag down the harbor unit,” Carol said. “They responded and went out and saved the dog.”

“It was all perfect timing that we pulled [into the parking lot] at that moment, that the harbor unit was there, and the dog responded to my voice.”

The drama began around 9 a.m. on Wednesday when Georgia — who police first called Tinkerbell, her name before her recent adoption — and her family were headed home along the Boardwalk after a 20-minute stroll on Rockaway Beach.

“A bike or something went by and startled her,” said Jason Novetsky, who had just adopted the shepherd-lab mix five days before with his wife Karen Dublin and their 10-year-old daughter.

“I had just shifted the leash from one part of the collar to a different part of the collar — actually, it was a harness,” he said. “And when she twisted, it popped out.”

“She looked at me, and looked at the leash, and I looked at her — and we just had that realization that something was going to happen.

“And I tried to remain really calm … I kneeled down and used my sweetest voice to try and calm her down. And she just decided to run.”

Novetsky chased her for about 40 blocks, but lost sight of his furry new family member. He began asking people along the way if they had seen the pup. He passed out his phone number as he went.

When Dublin saw that after the pursuit, her husband didn’t have Georgia, she posted to the Friends of Rockaway Beach Facebook page at around 10:15 a.m. that their pup was missing.

Minutes later, Dublin received a call that police had pulled Georgia out of the water and sent her straight to the vet. Within 35 minutes, Georgia was reunited with her worried family who had waited years to adopt the perfect pet.

“She’s such a great dog. … She just kind of leans against you and you feel like a million bucks” said Dublin. “One of the police officers told us, she’s so lovable that if no one claimed her, he would’ve claimed her.”

“We’re just so happy she’s home.”

(c)2021 New York Daily News

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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