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Cops Rescue German Shepherd Puppy From Staten Island Marsh

By Nicholas Rizzi | April 25, 2013 3:36pm

MIDLAND BEACH — Cops rescued a German shepherd puppy from a Staten Island marsh after the dog ran away from its new owner Thursday.

Two Emergency Service Unit cops used a boogie board to cross the water of the marsh at Nugent Avenue and Graham Boulevard about noon, and found the 1-year-old dog, named Ripper, in the bushes nearby.

After several attempts to get Ripper back across the marsh, police finally hooked a rope on his collar and guided him to swim across the water.

"It was a struggle," said Ripper's owner Mohamad Awada, 52, who works for the city's Department of Design and Construction. "It was not that easy."

The rescuers declined to comment.

Awada said Ripper ran away from him about 7 a.m., when he took the new dog out of his cage.

"I took him out of his place and two seconds [later he ran]," he said. "It's because I'm a stranger to him. I'm not his master."

Awada drove around the neighborhood near his home on Jefferson Avenue until he heard Ripper making noise a couple blocks away.

"I didn't think he would cross the water," Awada said. "He was sitting right [across the water]. Just sitting, relaxing."

Awada said the water was about 12 feet deep, and he decided to call the cops for help.

Awada had just brought Ripper home from a breeder in New Jersey on Wednesday night. He plans to rename the puppy Mikey after a former pet's name.

"It's a beautiful dog," he said. "Calm dog."

After cops finally got Ripper back to his owner, Awada's son walked him back home to get ready for a bath.

Awada said he thinks the reason Ripper went into the marsh is because it's the closest thing around that looks like a farm, where he was born.

"He came from a farm and maybe he thought it was a farm," Awada said.