MTA Police Rescue Train-Riding Dog from Torrential Rainstorm
Guide dogs and service animals are welcome on the Long Island Rail Road, as are pets kept in a pet carrier. But not since the days of Roxey, the Long Island Rail Road dog, has an unattended dog been known to simply board a train on its own. Until Tuesday.
Customers on board the 7:13 p.m. westbound train from Ronkonkoma were surprised to see a happy, friendly and well-fed yellow Labrador / pit bull mix board the train by itself at Wyandanch and detrain safely onto the platform at Farmingdale. The train crew radioed to the MTA Canine Unit to see if it could help the mysterious train-riding animal.
Officer Daniel McDade, an eight year veteran of the force, and his canine partner, Reno, a yellow Labrador retriever, were on patrol at Garden City when they heard the call come across. Officer and canine hastened to Farmingdale Station to ensure that the dog wouldn't be hit by a train or car. The team arrived at the station in the midst of a torrential downpour. LIRR customers told the officer that they'd seen the dog, but they weren't sure where he'd gone.
Officer McDade and Reno began searching the station, the beam of their SUV-mounted searchlight glinting through the rain as they methodically scanned the station. After a brief search, the light fell on a pair of dark eyes, peering back at them from underneath the westbound platform. Officer McDade exited the vehicle and approached the animal.
"He was a little bit reluctant to come out into the downpour," Officer McDade recalled. "But I finally coaxed him out and he came over and sat down next to me. I carry a couple of extra leashes in the car, so I put a leash on him and we went back to the car."
Officer McDade and the two dogs then drove together to Long Island Veterinary Specialists (LIVS), a 24-hour animal hospital and shelter in Plainview. "My guy was showing interest in him, but the other guy was still a little scared at the time," Officer McDade recalled. "But when we got to the vets, he was wagging his tail and happy to see people. He is a very friendly dog."
The dog was transferred to the Town of Babylon Shelter and on Thursday, the owner stepped forward for a happy reunion.