MANHATTAN — A dog missing for five months was reunited with his Harlem owner after being found rummaging for food near the FDNY training facility on Randall’s Island, a fire department spokeswoman said.
Burt, a 1-year-old brindled Whippet, went missing from his home on Aug. 20 and was finally caught in a trap set by Lt. David Kelly during the blizzard early Tuesday morning.
"I am tremendously grateful for the efforts of the FDNY to recover Burt. Burt had been running loose in the city for more than five months and managed to evade capture by friends, family and many good Samaritans," owner Lauren Piccolo wrote online.
Kelly, a 25-year veteran from Ladder 22 in Harlem, first saw the Whippet about a month ago and started to feed him dog food after noticing that the pooch looked hungry, the spokeswoman said.
Kelly started looking online for missing greyhounds, which look similar to Whippets, and finally came upon the Facebook page for Burt.
Kelly contacted Piccolo and got a few pictures of Burt, confirming it was the same dog.
He then decided to try and trap the dog so it wouldn’t be harmed in the blizzard.
Kelly set up a metal cage with food in it and was finally able to capture Burt.
“After five months, and of course in the middle of a mega snow storm, I get a call from a really nice fireman who has seen a whippet, nightly for 2 - 3 weeks, near the FDNY training facility on Randall's Island,” Piccolo wrote on Burt's Facebook page after first being contacted by Kelly. “I can't believe you are still out there, Burt!!!!!!!!!!”
Piccolo had been frantically looking for her dog for months, at one point covering 90 blocks with posters, according to a Facebook post on Sept. 3.
Burt and Piccolo were reunited later Tuesday morning.
"While Burt is a resilient dog, I don’t think he would have survived such a fierce storm. The FDNY’s efforts were incredible and timely!" Piccolo said. "Burt is resting at home and is expected to make a full recovery."