In the midst of Saturday’s bustling festival atmosphere in Sag Harbor, the Village Fire Department’s dive team was called to Long Beach to rescue a dog trapped in frigid water and ice.
According to Assistant Chief James Frazier, at about 3:30 p.m., a couple was walking along the beach taking pictures when they heard yelping from the ice and immediately called 911 for help.
Though they didn’t know it at the time, the dog, Morgan, had been trapped in the water for about 45 minutes after getting loose from its owner’s car.
Jumping into action, three members of the dive team took a skiff out into Noyac Bay and scooped the dog out of the water, wrapping it in blankets as they made their way back to shore. Mr. Frazier said other than being cold, Morgan “seemed to be OK,” but that as a precaution, they took her inside a warm truck until the Southampton Town Bay Constables arrived and took over custody.
This was just the start of the journey for Morgan, though, who would later be transferred to animal control and then brought to the East End Veterinary Emergency and Specialty Center in Riverhead, about an hour after the initial rescue.
According to Dr. Gao Vatash, the 2-year-old golden retriever was severely hypothermic upon arrival, with visible petechiae, a sign of a very low platelet count. Dr. Vatash characterized the dog’s condition as “very much life threatening.”
While treating Morgan with a transfusion of plasma, the staff at the veterinary hospital was able to scan an implanted microchip and locate the dog’s family, which Mr. Vatash said had been searching for Morgan for hours.
Morgan was kept overnight, but after showing signs of improvement from the plasma therapy, left the Riverhead hospital Sunday.
“Everyone was very happy, it was a good day,” said Dr. Vatash. “Those microchips make a tremendous difference in our lives. They help us bring peace to the owners that their animal is OK, but also help us identify any issues it may have after speaking to the owner. Those microchips save lives.”