By Carol Tannenhauser
Talk about a story having “legs” — it’s the tale (sorry) of Indie, the swift and valorous dog that got loose from her walker on 78th Street and West End Avenue on June 8th, and took off on a seven-day journey, ending up in Long Island City via the Queens-Midtown tunnel! She was saved from tragedy by four equally swift and valorous MTA officers, who quickly stopped traffic and closed the tunnel to ensure Indie safe passage. Watch it happen in the video below:
Today, the officers were awarded commendations by the MTA, which described their actions as follows:
Informed that a canine had been spotted running against traffic into the tunnel’s Manhattan-bound tube, Sgt. Orlando Caholo ordered oncoming traffic be stopped briefly to prevent the possibility of an accident, which can occur when motorists swerve or stop suddenly to avoid hitting an animal freely running in the tunnel.
Following Sergeant Caholo’s orders, Officer Latoria Bosley, positioned at the Queens entrance to the tunnel, stopped traffic from entering the tunnel as Officers Michael Winn and Alexander Figueroa searched the tunnel for the canine. Indie – on a mission to reach Queens – managed to elude them, but the brief stoppage prevented any incident from occurring and allowed traffic to resume promptly after the dog traveled safely through the tunnel.
Although the dog left the tunnel, MTA Bridges and Tunnels’ role doesn’t end there. In the aftermath of the incident, Officer Heather Minutello, who had witnessed the incident, got in touch with the dog’s owner, Heather Angus, via social media to let her know that Indie may have passed through the tunnel and could still be in the area.
That tip led to the reunification of dog and owner, as Indie was found several days later just blocks from the tunnel in a Long Island City warehouse.
Heather Angus came to the commendation ceremony, which was held at the tunnel, and also attended by Chief Richard Hildebrand, Vice President and Chief of Operations for MTA Bridges and Tunnels. “Every day our officers work to protect New Yorkers, even the four-legged ones,” he said. “I am proud of the work these four officers did to keep Indie safe while making sure drivers could get where they needed to go.”
“Thank you for having Indie and me here today to thank these amazing officers,” said Heather Angus. “I’m forever grateful for your speedy action to shut down the tunnel, and for calling in that life-saving tip. I thought we might be here to pay Indie’s toll, because she wasn’t wearing an E-Z Pass that day,” she laughed.
Kudos MTA staff. You rock.
Thank you to these compassionate and quick-thinking MTA employees!
What an amazing happy pet rescue! Just wonderful and inspirational! There is still hope for all animals by kind hearted people!
Thank you all for caring for our 4 legged friends who need more voices to speak and protect them!
Thank you all involved!
Congratulations to Heather and Indie on you both being a united family again!
All the best!!
And what an absolutely lovely picture of Happiness.
I am looking forward to the children’s book and movie. Get that dog an agent (unless s/he already has one.)