Covid Nurse’s Lost Dog Found After Seven-Day Odyssey Thanks to ‘Type-A’ New Yorkers

Heather Angus and Indie.

By Carol Tannenhauser

Last Sunday, WSR posted a story about a dog named Indie who had been missing from the Upper West Side for five days. Heather Angus, a 42-year-old nurse anesthetist at Mt. Sinai Hospital, had adopted her three months before, from an organization called Zani’s Furry Friends, run by Michael Ripinsky, who rescues dogs from all over the world.

Indie was a street dog from India. Heather saw her on Petfinder and was stunned by her resemblance to her previous dog of 19 years, who died this February. “I was so sad at the time,” Heather said. “When I met Indie, after about 20 minutes of her being afraid, she came over and leaned against me and licked my hand. I was like, okay, I think we’re a match.”

A match made in heaven…for real! Heather thinks.

Indie comforted Heather in other ways as well. “I’m a nurse anesthetist at Mount Sinai Hospital,” she said. “I was on the rapid response team during the pandemic. We took care of the sickest of the sick. We were sent around the hospital to respond to people needing intubation. It was crazy. I was an ER nurse for eight years and a Burn ICU nurse for two years, so I have seen trauma and death. But I had never seen anything like that in my entire life. ”

On the evening of Tuesday, June 8th, while Heather was at work, Indie jumped at the sudden flight of a pigeon, and her leash flew out of the hand of her dog walker on West 78th Street and West End Avenue. Indie took off, heading south. “When the walker called me and told me she had bolted, I immediately made a posting and a flyer on PawBoost, which helps you find lost animals. Someone called right away and said, ‘I just saw your dog.’”

Tips kept coming in Tuesday night. “Indie ran into Riverside Park…to 72nd and Broadway…down to 67th Street…to 36th! Then, we got a tip saying a dog had run through the Queens Midtown tunnel at 8 PM,” Heather said. “A half hour later, someone saw it running down 30th Street in Hunter’s Point. I thought, ‘You made it all the way to Long Island City!’”

Six days passed. “It was six days straight of posting flyers and following up tips,” Heather said. “The community got so involved — the Upper West Side and Queens. It was bigger than me at a certain point. People were emailing, saying ‘I’m working on the press.’ ‘I’m taking care of Instagram.’ ‘I’m calling the shelters.’ CBS News and the New York Post interviewed me.”

Heather believes it was a typical New York response. “The day when someone pushes you out of the subway door, you’re like, ‘Why am I here? This is so stupid. I should live somewhere else,’” she explained, laughing. “Then, when you meet all these amazing people, you’re like, I can never live anywhere else! We’re all Type A personalities running around helping each other when things get bad.”


On Tuesday morning, June 15th, a week after Indie had been lost, Jairo Naranjo walked into the warehouse where he works in Long Island City, heard rustling, and saw a dog huddled on a shelf in the corner. He tried to coax it out, then to feed it, but it would not move.

“I left for lunch and walked to the corner diner,” Jairo recalls, ”and taped to the door was a flyer that said ‘Missing,’ with a picture of the dog and a phone number. I called the number.”

Watch Heather and Indie’s reunion below.

“Indie is doing well,” Heather reported. “I took her to the vet immediately. She was covered in black tar and scrapes, dehydrated, but only lost one pound. I think the warehouse had a cat and she ate its food and drank its water. She came home and ran circles around the apartment and found her favorite tennis balls.”

What a dream!

This Saturday, in Central Park, there will be another Indie reunion. Heather has invited all of the people who helped find her — and anyone else who wants to come — to celebrate this brave dog and each other. Michael Ripinsky, from Zani’s Furry Friends, will be there with some dogs for adoption. The place is the Arthur Ross Pinetum, which you can reach from the West 86th Street entrance to the park. The time is 10 AM to 6 PM.

“This story is a miracle, only possible because of the angels involved,” Heather said. “I’d love to connect so many amazing people. Bring your furry friends and let’s celebrate!”

NEWS | 28 comments | permalink
    1. MQue says:

      So happy Indie was found safe. I can’t believe this dog made it all the way to queens.

    2. ajiv says:

      i love this! amazing story and thanks to all of the people who made it possible

    3. dc says:

      Well done everyone involved in getting this sweet dog home.

    4. josh says:

      Glad the pup is home and safe. One issue, though, is Heather is not a first responder. A first responder is a police officer, a firefighter, or an EMT/Paramedic. Doctors, nurses, and physicians assistants are medical workers, but they are not first responders. First responders are so named because they are the first to respond when you call 911.

    5. LL says:

      I am so so delighted to read this!!!!

    6. Gretchen says:

      Amazing and beautiful story! So glad it had a happy ending for Indie and Heather. Thanks for the update!

    7. UWS_lifer says:

      How the heck does a dog end up in Queens from the UWS?!?

      He probably doesn’t even have a MetroCard.:)

      Is their a bacon factory in Long Island City or something? This one is quite perplexing.

      • Josh says:

        If he ran through the Queens Midtown Tunnel, the next story we are going to read in the WSR is about the MTA sending a bill for the toll.

    8. B.L. Ochman says:

      I had a photo of the poster on my phone because I recognized the dog from seeing it in Central Park in the mornings
      So happy they are together again

    9. Bill says:

      Thx WSR for this wonderful story.

    10. Ben B says:

      I’m so happy to see this 🙂

    11. Ruth Bonnet says:

      What a sweet story! Brought a tear to my eye!

    12. Janice says:

      OMG! I am so glad Indie was found! What an amazing story–so many people who chipped in.

      Great ending!

    13. Susan Kagan says:

      Oh, what a wonderful, heart-warming story!

    14. Nancy D says:

      Wonderful. Thank you to all caring dog lovers who helped Indie get back home.

    15. robert dowling says:

      happy dog is home safe and sound. another example of NYC and NYers in general overcoming whatever is thrown at them. sometimes we may be down but never out for the count. kudos to all who directly worked on getting the dog home. also the cat as story says voluntarily let the dog eat and drink some its food and water.

    16. Sarah says:

      I can’t stop crying. This dog ran past me on Broadway/68th on the 8th and I chased it a few blocks and over to 10th Ave before I lost it. I came home so upset that I couldn’t save it. This article just made my week. Thank you.

    17. Sheila Wolk says:

      I am in tears of joy for her and her doggy..Truly a feel good story here..thanks!

    18. so happy for you both!

    19. Christine says:

      Best. Happy. Ending. Ever. Yeah, Indie!!!

    20. Crescent says:

      Wow, Josh, really? A Covid nurse and burn ICU – you needed to call her out about first responder status? That’s kind of low. She’s doing God’s work.

      • Josh says:

        Didnt call anybody out except the headline. The original headline identified her erroneously as a first responder, which is why WSR has since corrected it. Not a big deal. Hope you have a great weekend.

    21. CJ says:

      This story strengthens my faith in humankind! So happy Heather and Indie are reunited.

    22. Laura D says:

      I heard that the professional dog tracer refused to believe this doggie made it through a tunnel and simply dismissed the case. Power- and gratitude- to the People who remained dedicated to the cause! Yaaay Indie too!

    23. Nina says:

      So happy for this story. We had a similar experience a couple of years ago. Our Thai rescue dog bolted in Riverside Park and was gone for 24 hours. We kept looking and calling. Facebook friends were also on the alert. Finally someone spotted her and we found her. The uncertainty was so awful. I know use an extra leash attachment that hooks to my belt. If I drop the leash she can’t run off. Highly recommend this.

    24. Sarah says:

      Wow. Great work, everybody!!!