A rescue dog from the Caribbean had to be rescued again Saturday when he plunged into the frigid East River.
Can Liu, a worker at the Animal Haven shelter in Lower Manhattan, said he was walking the 4-month-old puppy, Bee Bee, and two of his own dogs near the South Street Seaport around 9 a.m. when an off-leash canine came at them out of nowhere and attacked his Rottweiler.
“He latched onto my dog’s face. I was trying to separate them,” Liu said. “The little guy must have gotten spooked by the big dog, then he was wandering around.”
One of the women with the off-leash dog tried to catch Bee Bee, who bolted, Liu said.
“He’s scared of people,” said Liu, who had been fostering Bee Bee at his Chinatown home. “I guess he found like a crevice by the pier and just jumped in.”
The puppy, a mutt, got swept up by the currents and was carried under Pier 17.
“That’s when everybody started freaking out,” Liu said. “This is like a little 4-month-old puppy in freezing cold water.”
A worker at a nearby bar who watched the drama unfold called the NYPD. Officers from the NYPD Emergency Service Unit went into the water and pulled Bee Bee to safety.
Bee Bee was warming up Saturday afternoon at Animal Haven.
“He seems fine now, much better. He’s eating. He’s still playing,” Liu said in the early afternoon.
Tiffany Lacey, the executive director of the non-profit Animal Haven, said the shelter has about 50 dogs and 50 cats at any one time who are waiting to be adopted.
Lacey said the group works with a non-profit organization on the island of Antigua, where Bee Bee was from, to take in strays.
“We’re trying to remove as many animals off the island before we get to the summer months when hurricane season hits,” Lacey said. “Their temperament is wonderful. They’re very, very sweet dogs.”
For Bee Bee, another rescue was in store Saturday.
Rayshon Modeste, 18, of Brooklyn had seen the pup’s adorable photo on Animal Haven’s website and came to the shelter with his younger brother to meet him. Modeste’s family had previously adopted another dog, Dash, from the shelter.
“My soul talked with Bee Bee just from the picture I saw of him on the website, the same way my soul talked with Dash,” said Modeste who decided Bee Bee would be going to his forever home with them.