As they prepared for their duty at 7 a.m. on Tuesday, New Jersey State Police Troopers Ryan Koehler and Vincent Ferdinandi received an unforeseen phone call reporting that a golden retriever had been spotted swimming in Barnegat Bay on the Jersey Shore and required assistance.
The officers entered a 22-foot pool, and according to Ferdinandi, he utilized a Zodiac boat to reach the dog, which was around 75 yards away. After gently encouraging the dog, they used a rope line to hoist it onto a dock behind a house.
He was extremely exhausted, Ferdinandi continues. “Obviously starving and malnourished.”
with reason. Chunk, a 3-year-old dog, allegedly ran out into the woods on June 6 when he was playing fetch with his owners Marie and James Zangara.
According to the officer, an investigation has been ongoing since Chunk disappeared on Sunday with the aid of social media, local police departments, baited traps, trackers, and trail cameras.
Chunk was seen by two joggers on the Mantoloking Bridge early on Tuesday, according to Ferdinandi. However, when they tried to catch him, he leaped into the river. By the time he was rescued, he had swum about two kilometers across the river.
Chunk seemed frightened as the troopers approached him on the ground; Ferdinandi remembers, “he sort of moved away from us.” Until the dog’s family arrived, they kept Chunk close to their sides for protection.
When Chunk saw his family, he was just as thrilled as the people were, according to Ferdinandi. “It was fantastic to see their relief that a member of their family had returned.”
Koehler, who has been a police officer for 16 years and owns a Lab/Shepherd mix that he rescued, understands how difficult it can be to be without a dog for as long as two weeks. “I completely understand,” he says.
Ferdinandi says, “All we want is for the dog and his owners to be reunited.”
The positive development was posted on the New Jersey State Police’s Facebook page early Tuesday, and it was shared more than 6,000 times.
According to the Facebook post, Troopers Koehler and Ferdinandi arrived in a motorboat and found Chunk swimming near the Mantoloking Bridge, and were able to safely bring him to shore.
The Facebook message continues by saying that Chunk, a 3-year-old dog, had been missing for over two weeks, and that he was undoubtedly thrilled to be reunited with his grateful owners.
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