Port Authority police rescued a dog from a catwalk on the lower level of the George Washington Bridge Thursday morning about 12 hours after it ran away from its home in Leonia, apparently spooked by 4th of July fireworks, authorities said.
The dog, which NJ.com reported is named “Charlie,” had been bitten and sprayed by a skunk and was scared. But it was ultimately reunited with its owners at an animal shelter in Cliffside Park, said Port Authority police spokesman Al Della Fave.
At about 9:30 a.m. Thursday, construction workers called Port Authority police to let them know they had spotted the dog running in traffic on the lower level of the bridge, Della Fave said.
“Port Authority police officer [Kameel Jumar], who has a couple dogs of his own and had a leash and collar in his bag, responded over there,” Della Fave said. “When he got there, he found him on the little catwalk under the Jersey tower on the westbound side and said the dog was very docile; he seemed exhausted.”
Jumar approached the dog slowly, “petted it, got comfortable with it and put the collar on it,” Della Fave added.
Emergency service responders then helped get the scared animal off the catwalk, took it away on a stretcher and sent it to Animal Paradise Hospital in Cliffside Park.
“[The dog] was treated for what looked like a skunk bite to its hind leg, and it had been sprayed as well by the skunk,” Della Fave said. “He went through quite an ordeal.”
The family who owns the dog told authorities their pet ran off Wednesday evening because it was frightened by the noise from the fireworks on the 4th of July.
“The owners were from Leonia, but they had an apartment in New York City, and I don’t know; maybe that’s where he was headed,” Della Fave said, adding that Port Authority police had no way of knowing what route the dog took to get to the bridge.
“Last I heard, the dog was doing okay and had been reunited with its owners,” he said.