Golden Retriever Lost For 16-Days Was Found Swimming Along

Golden Retriever Lost For 16-Days Was Found Swimming Along Shoreline

On a sunny afternoon on June 6, Chunk, an energetic 3-year-old Golden Retriever, was enjoying a game of catch with his owners, Marie and James Zangara, at their home in New Jersey. The playful day took a sudden and unexpected turn when Chunk, startled by a loud noise, bolted into the nearby woods and disappeared from sight. Despite the Zangaras’ immediate efforts to find him, calling his name and searching the area extensively, Chunk had seemingly vanished without a trace, leaving his owners worried and heartbroken.

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Marie and James were devastated. They spent the next two weeks tirelessly searching for Chunk. They distributed hundreds of flyers in their neighborhood and surrounding areas, posted about him on social media, and even reached out to local animal shelters and veterinarians. Every day, they hoped for a call or a sighting, but as the days passed, their hopes began to wane.

Three weeks later, just when the Zangaras were starting to fear the worst, a miraculous call came in. New Jersey State Police Trooper Ryan Koehler received a report about a Golden Retriever spotted swimming in Barnegat Bay, along the Jersey Shore. The dog was struggling and needed urgent assistance. Trooper Koehler and his team quickly sprang into action, knowing time was of the essence.

When the officers arrived at the scene, they saw Chunk, exhausted and fighting to stay afloat, about 75 yards from the shore. As they approached, Chunk, still frightened, attempted to swim further away. However, the officers skillfully maneuvered their Zodiac boat to gently guide him back towards land. It was a delicate operation; Chunk was visibly weak, having swum nearly two miles across the bay, and was on the verge of collapse.

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Finally, the officers managed to lift Chunk onto a pier behind a rope house. He was severely fatigued, malnourished, and appeared to be on the brink of starvation. Despite his weakened state, Chunk was still wary of his rescuers, backing away and growling in fear. The officers, understanding his distress, patiently stayed by his side, keeping him calm and safe until his family arrived.

When Marie and James arrived, their relief was palpable. Chunk, though exhausted, recognized his owners and ran to them, wagging his tail furiously. The emotional reunion was heartwarming; tears of joy streamed down Marie’s face as she hugged Chunk, who was equally overjoyed to be back with his family.

Chunk’s incredible survival story quickly spread through the community and beyond. Neighbors, friends, and even strangers who had followed his story were thrilled to hear of his safe return. His journey had been perilous, but Chunk’s spirit and determination had seen him through.

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The Zangara family took Chunk home, where he received immediate medical attention. The vet confirmed that while he was severely malnourished and dehydrated, he would make a full recovery with proper care and rest. Chunk’s adventure served as a reminder of the extraordinary bonds between pets and their owners, and the lengths to which they would go to be reunited.

Chunk’s experience will undoubtedly change his behavior. The once adventurous retriever will likely think twice before wandering off again. His family, grateful to have him back, plans to take extra precautions to ensure his safety. They installed a new, secure fence around their property and have begun working with a trainer to help Chunk overcome his fear of loud noises.

Image Credit: Youtube

The story of Chunk’s disappearance and miraculous return has touched the hearts of many. It is a testament to the power of hope, the dedication of community members, and the heroic efforts of the New Jersey State Police. Chunk is not just a dog; he is a survivor, a symbol of resilience, and a beloved member of the Zangara family.

Welcome home, Chunk! Your journey has been an incredible one, and your story will be remembered and cherished by many. You are a beautiful, blessed dog, and we are all thankful that you were found safe. Your miraculous swim and survival are a true testament to your strength and spirit. God must have been watching over you, guiding you back to your forever family.

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