A Ridgewood man is responsible for reuniting a lost dog with her Upper West Side owner.
Heather Angus, a nurse from the Upper West Side who served on the front lines during the COVID-19 pandemic, is thanking “the angels of New York City” for the happy homecoming of Indie, her mixed-breed rescue dog who broke free from her dog walker and raced through the Queens Midtown Tunnel to Long Island City, where a warehouse worker provided shelter for nearly week.
“She was very afraid and didn’t want to be touched,” Jairo Naranjo said. “My mother and my sister helped me gather her up and the owner of the warehouse that I work at let me use a small space in the back where she could sleep.”
On Monday, Naranjo went to a diner near his workplace to get some food for Indie when he saw a flyer about the missing pooch and called the number.
Angus was working at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she tended to the sickest patients during the COVID-19 pandemic as a nurse anesthetist. She phoned a friend, Michael Rapinsky, of Zani’s Furry Friends ZFF, a nonprofit organization committed to rescuing companion animals from New York City shelters.
Rapinsky raced to the warehouse at 49-29 30th Pl. and picked up the puppy on Tuesday, a week after she broke free. Indie, a Basenji and Shiba Inu mix, was last spotted racing through the tunnel, slowing traffic, before she emerged on the Queens side.
“I was in the operating room when I got the text saying he got her,” Angus said. “I burst into tears. I adopted Indie from Michael and when he got there she was burrowed into a tiny space. She had some cobwebs but other than that she was a little bit dehydrated and had some black tar on her but ran in circles when I tried to give her a bath, but I’ll take care of that later.”
Angus took the day off Wednesday and had Indie checked out by her veterinarian.
“She’s doing fine. When I had her out this morning people were saying hello to her. She’s a celebrity,” Angus said. “I’m throwing a party in Central Park for all of the people who called me with tips. I hope Jairo and his family can make it.”
Naranjo was given a $500 reward for finding and caring for Indie, and making the happy reunion possible.
“I was happy everything worked out like it did,” Naranjo said. “The owner was nice to invite us to Central Park. I hope her dog is doing fine.”