NYPD officers rescue blind 8-year-old dog from frigid water in Queens

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Tuesday, November 7, 2023
NYPD officers rescue blind dog from frigid water
Sonia Rincon has more on the rescue of the blind 8-year-old dog.

SOUTH JAMAICA, Queens (WABC) -- The hero officers who didn't hesitate to save a drowning dog in Queens are speaking out about the rescue.

On Halloween, officers Branden Williams and Marc Esposito from the 113th precinct responded to multiple 911 call of a dog in the water.

The incident occurred sometime around 8 a.m. at Baisley Pond park in South Jamaica, Queens.

As the officers were waiting for additional assistance, they heard 8-year-old Sparky and decided to enter into the water.

"We couldn't see him but we could hear him crying out, so once we heard that, we knew we had to do something, we had to jump in there," Williams said.

Sparky had drifted over to some weeds.

"It was shallow, but it was so uneven so you'd take a step, and then another step and that next step you just sank all the way down until you're chest high, neck high, so it was a bit of a struggle to get to the dog," Esposito said.

The water was freezing, and so was Sparky.

WATCH | NYPD bodycam video of rescue:

He was scared, too. They got him into their car and once he warmed up inside, he warmed up to them.

They brought Sparky back to the precinct, where Animal Care and Control took over.

"He was friendly, once we got him to the precinct, he was friendly, he was a good dog," Williams said.

But what they and the 911 caller didn't realize was that Sparky couldn't see them. They knew something was wrong when they saw his cloudy eyes.

"Later on we found out that the dog was indeed blind," Esposito said.

The 8-year-old border collie mix had been reported missing a day earlier online with the ACC, so the agency knew how to contact the owner, after getting him to the vet and treated for hypothermia.

"They checked him out, he was good, he had no water in him," Williams said.

It was a big relief for the two officers who both have dogs they love.

"In the moment you think, if this was my dog, I wish somebody would help," Esposito said. "It's a really good feeling knowing that we saved the dog and it got reunited with its family."

Sparky's family declined an interview, but it is believed the dog is recovering and doing well.

ALSO READ | New York City, Tri-State animal shelters at capacity, emblematic of national crisis


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