UPDATE: Chewy was found over the weekend by a Good Samaritan and is now home, safe and sound!
MARINE PARK – Chewy the dog is missing near Marine Park, after escaping while under veterinary care last night at VERG South, an emergency veterinarian’s at 2220 Flatbush Avenue.
Daniel Ioannou, of Coney Island, brought Chewy, a pitbull-dachshund mix, to the emergency vet around 6:30 last night, on Thursday, March 1. After Daniel sat in the waiting room for more than an hour, waiting for Chewy to be treated, VERG staff told him that they’d lost the dog.
“I couldn’t believe it,” said Ioannou. Staff told Ioannou that the dog had slipped its collar while they were walking him after his treatment, and the pooch was last seen running down East 45th Street.
“I said, ‘Why are you telling me? Go get him!'” Ioannou recalled. He left the facility on foot, running to East 45th and calling for Chewy repeatedly, to no avail. Back at the vet’s office, Ioannou spoke with a manager, who assured him that while VERG would help try to recover the dog, they couldn’t release the name of the staff member that lost Chewy, or provide further details.
A spokesperson for VERG confirmed that dog was being walked outside the vet facility last night for a chance to relieve itself when it became startled, slipping from its collar and running off. The employee in charge of the dog gave unsuccessful chase before returning to the facility, at which point staff notified the owner of the incident. The collar used to walk the dog had been supplied by Ioannou.
“We had four people searching last night and four searching today,” said the spokesperson, who said staff called the NYPD and ASPCA after the dog ran off. They said VERG printed up fliers for the lost dog, forwarding them to local fire departments, dog groomers and various community outlets.
Despite Chewy being chipped, there’s been no word today, and Ioannu spent the day driving around looking for his dog, posting fliers. He inherited the dog from his mother after she passed away, he said. Frustrated with VERG’s response, he’s been searching and distributing fliers on his own. He’s also posted to a number of community Facebook groups.
“They’re only worried about a bad review—it’s about money,” said Ioannou. But the VERG spokesman said they’ve offered to match Ioannou’s offered $500, bringing the total reward for Chewy’s return up to $1000.