A dog plummeted off the BQE overpass in Brooklyn last night, but a quick response from a group of good Samaritans means it has a good shot at survival. UPDATE: A new witness has come forward to say that the dog was not thrown, it jumped. This report has been edited accordingly.
Jon Ernsberger said he was driving along Meeker Avenue in Greenpoint around 6:25 p.m. when he saw a dog sail over the guard rail about 30 feet in front of his car, "head over heels over the top," he said.
"For the first split second I didn't know what it was," he said. "At first I thought it could be a human, and that was really alarming." He was stunned to realize it was a dog, and, upon pulling over, more stunned to realize it was still alive. "It's unbelievable—it's like, 30 feet high," he said. "I really thought it would be dead, but it was crying out and trying to stand."
A gaggle of other witnesses quickly came to aid the ailing dog—a male pitbull weighing around 50 pounds—gently moving him from the street and rushing to make him comfortable with water and blankets.
Though blood was trickling from his mouth, Ernsberger said he and his fellow rescuers think the forsaken animal will survive. "He was breathing heavily, but didn't call out when we tried to lift him—we thought that was a good sign," he said.
Witnesses phoned several animal hospitals in the area, some of which refused to help without involvement from police. Lacie Zassman, who arrived at the scene shortly after the incident, tells us that police arrived around 30 minutes later, with one officer offering to "take the dog to a kill shelter."
Instead, Zassman, Ernsberger and other witnesses took the poor pooch to the Veterinary Emergency & Referral Group in Cobble Hill, where the dog greeted attending vet techs with a wagging tail.
VERG Communications Director Maria Moss tells us the dog, dubbed "Meeker," is in stable condition, and has been diagnosed with a pneumothorax and has an injured front leg. Still, Meeker is maintaining a positive attitude, and appears to be breathing and resting well.
Earlier this week, the NYPD and ASPCA hosted a joint press event touting their success with investigating reports of animal abuse. Asked about yesterday's incident, ASPCA spokesperson Natasha Whitling told us via email, "I confirmed that we are not involved in this incident. As I’m sure you know, all requests for comment from the NYPD - including ACIS - go through DCPI." DCPI (the NYPD's press arm) has not responded to our inquiry about the incident.