A day after they rescued a stray dog from busy electrified railroad tracks in Harlem, quick-thinking MTA police officers reunited with the lucky pooch at her temporary home at Animal Care & Control of New York City.
MTA workers gave the name “Tie” to the friendly pup, which is believed to be a shepherd/collie mix about three years old. She was found with no tags or identifying microchips, but Animal Care & Control is following its procedures to determine whether she has a rightful owner. If no owner is established, Tie will be put up for adoption or made available to partner rescue groups at Animal Care & Control’s Manhattan Animal Care Center.
Yesterday morning, MTA Police Officers Luis Alvarez and Errold Borges pulled Tie to safety at the Harlem-125th Street station after receiving word from rail traffic controller Alex Rodriguez in the Metro-North Railroad operations control center that the dog was on the tracks.
Tie was first spotted by the engineer of a Grand Central Terminal-bound train that had originated at 10:39 a.m. train in Greystone. The engineer immediately notified the operations control center, which in turn notified approximately a half dozen other trains that were in the area or scheduled to come through shortly. The trains were told to slow their speeds and watch for a stray animal.
Rodriguez also notified the MTA Police Department. Officers stationed at Harlem-125th Street mobilized to attempt to apprehend the wayward pup.
The engineer on the first train followed Tie slowly for a mile and a half as the dog walked along the tracks, which are the electrified by 700 volts of third rail power, and across the Harlem River Lift Bridge onto elevated tracks in Manhattan.
Customers on the platform at Harlem-125th Street Station watched as the dog walked along the tracks past the length of the platforms. Alvarez and Borges responded to the south end of the platform, where they joined other Metro-North employees who were trying to lure her to a small staircase leading down to the tracks. Tie finally walked up into her rescuers’ arms while a crowd of customers on the platform clapped and cheered.
Alvarez, who has two dogs of his own, said Tie was limping and nursing her right front paw, but seemed to be in good spirits. He and Borges brought Tie to a heated shelter on the platform, where MTA Police Emergency Services Unit Officers Mathew Medina and Russell Andreasi secured her for a quick ride to Animal Care & Control’s Manhattan Animal Care Center in East Harlem.
“At first she appeared frightened, but started wagging her tail,” Alvarez said. “Having a dog of my own I could tell she was very friendly.”
Officer Borges noted: “I’m just happy we took the dog off the tracks and were able to contain it. We didn’t know if this dog was vicious or not.”
It turned out, she was not.
“We’re grateful to all those involved in Tie’s rescue,” said AC&C’s Executive Director, Risa Weinstock. “While it’s not every day a dog is rescued from train tracks, every day every one of us can make a difference for an animal in need, by adopting one of many other dogs (and cats and rabbits) or volunteering or donating.”
Animal Care & Control of NYC (AC&C) is one of the largest animal welfare organizations in the country, taking in approximately 30,000 animals each year. AC&C is a 501(c) (3) nonprofit that rescues, cares for and finds loving homes for animals throughout the five boroughs of NYC. AC&C has a contract with the City of New York to be an open-admissions organization, which means it never turns away any homeless, abandoned, injured or sick animal in need of help, including cats, dogs, rabbits, small mammals, reptiles, birds, farm animals and wildlife. Visit www.nycacc.org for more information, and follow AC&C at facebook.com/NYCACC and @NYCACC.