New York City Rescued Dog Gets ‘Congressional’ Support

On July 19, 2022, in New York City, a dock worker on the Harlem River noticed a scared dog in the water struggling to stay afloat. The worker attempted to lift the 60 lb. dog out of the strong current but couldn't do it on his own. However, he managed to keep the pup's head above water while looking for help.

Luckily, the dock worker and the dog were spotted by officials from the FDNY Marine Unit, who were working nearby. Together, they rescued the frightened dog and took him to Animal Care Centers in New York City. The dog, named Aqua, was transferred the next day to the ASPCA Animal Recovery Center.

Aqua the dog

When the NYPD’s Animal Cruelty Investigation Squad conducted an investigation into the case, it was not clear to them how Aqua ended up in the river and they couldn't find information about the dog's owner because he wasn’t microchipped and wasn't wearing a license tag either. In New York State, it is required by law that all dogs be licensed and the license be renewed each year. For more info, read about licensing your dog in New York State.

Aqua's Recovery From Body Wounds

Aqua the dog's body wounds

When Aqua was examined at the Animal Recovery Center, Dr. Aubrey Crowley discovered several fresh wounds on the dog's body. According to Dr. Crowley, a Medical Supervisor of the Animal Recovery Center, the wounds on Aqua's body may have been caused by something in the river. Aqua remained under the care of Dr. Crowley until his wounds were healed. He was subsequently neutered and moved to the Adoption Center.

Aqua Receives a Fortunate Visit

U.S. Representative Nicole Malliotakis and her dog
Representative Nicole Malliotakis and Aqua the dog

While at the Adoption Center, Aqua was fortunately met by U.S. Representative Nicole Malliotakis, who represents New York's 11th congressional district with her constituency covering Staten Island and southern Brooklyn. Representative Nicole visited the Adoption Center to investigate an animal cruelty case. When she spotted Aqua while touring the Adoption Center, it was love at first sight. Before leaving the Adoption Center, Rep. Nicole asked to see Aqua one last time. A few days later, Rep. Nicole returned to the Adoption Center because she could not stop thinking about the dog. She volunteered to foster him. Rep. Nicole already owns a Chihuahua named Peanut.

U.S. Representative Nicole Malliotakis visits animal shelter
Representative Nicole Malliotakis at the Adoption Center

After swiftly settling into his foster home, Aqua traveled all over Rep. Nicole's Congressional district and even spent a day at her campaign office greeting visitors. 

Aqua Finds a Forever Home

Knowing that she couldn't keep Aqua permanently, Rep. Nicole used her networks to find him an adopter. It wasn’t long before a Washington, D.C. woman named Jaide B showed interest in adopting Aqua and ended up adopting him on August 26, 2022.

Aqua is currently living with his new family, Jaide and her fiancé, who also have an outgoing and playful Lab-pit bull-mix service dog named Thor. Jaide lately sent a "Thank You" note to the Adoption Center saying Aqua is the sweetest.

Jaide B adopts Aqua the dog
Jaide B adopts Aqua

Rep. Nicole, who profoundly enjoyed her time with Aqua, is encouraging everyone to support their local animal shelter by adopting, fostering or volunteering.


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