Missing Emotional Support Dog Safely Rescued From New York Subway Tunnels After 10-Hour Search
Lucy, an emotional support dog, was safely rescued from the New York City subway system over the weekend after ten eventful hours in the labyrinth's tunnels.
The rescue dog from Puerto Rico has lived with her family for seven years and became an emotional support dog for her owner, Susan Malone, 76, after her adoption. Last week, Susan was in the hospital recovering from a broken arm and leg, so Susan's daughter Molly Malone was caring for Lucy. On Saturday, Molly and her friend were looking after the dog when the pet managed to escape Molly's Manhattan home around 11 a.m.
While on the run, Lucy reportedly managed to get into an elevator and cross a busy New York City highway before entering the Chambers Street subway stop. According to the Citizen App, several community members reported the dog roaming loose around the subway's Chambers Street and Franklin Street stations before going into a tunnel.
"She definitely has some abuse in her life and is nervous about new people," Molly told the New York Post, after the dog's disappearance, noting that Lucy would be hard to catch. "She's been through a lot of things, including the pandemic, when she was my mom's only companion. She's the sweetest little thing."
Police officers started searching for the dog shortly after straphangers spotted the animal in a subway tunnel. To help with the search, the MTA temporarily shut off power to the subway tracks near where the dog was seen, ABC7NY reports. At 9 p.m., Lucy was spotted and rescued by an MTA train service supervisor Jose Bonilla, at 34th Street — blocks from where she started her subway journey. After the rescue, Molly, who had been waiting and worrying throughout that day at South Ferry station, reunited with the canine.
"We rode the train home, and she sat right next to me like a gentlewoman. She's tired, and she's drinking a ton of water," Molly said of the dog's demeanor after her rescue. "I'm so thankful for so many people who volunteered to help."
Besides a broken nail, Lucy is safe and won't need additional care besides a much-needed bath. She was reunited with Susan Malone on Monday.
During a press conference Tuesday, Sarah Meyer, an MTA chief customer officer, awarded Bonilla with a certificate of commendation for his role in rescuing Lucy from the subway. She was joined by Molly and Lucy, who had a cast on her paw due to her damaged nail.
"We applaud Jose for his efforts and diligent work … efforts that resulted in him being bit and bruised a little bit, through a glove," said Meyer as she celebrated Lucy's rescuer