New York City Shelter Dog Survives Snow Storm After Getting Lost

PetMD Editorial
Published: March 16, 2017
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We're all familiar with the old adage of cats having nine lives, but the story of a resilient dog named Pandy may give us reason to believe that canines can have the same kind of luck.

On March 14, New York City (along with much of the northeast) got blasted with Winter Storm Stella, leaving the area with about 7 inches of snow and ice. Strong winds, sleet, and freezing rain created harsh conditions for everyone, including the city's animals.

That's why when Pandy, a mixed breed 5-year-old dog residing at Manhattan's Animal Haven Shelter, accidentally slipped away from her volunteer handler, the staff of the facility and animal lovers all over the city were on high alert to find her. 

The shelter immediately put out a call for help on social media, including a Facebook message that read, "Please HELP our Pandy! She was being walked today by one of our incredible volunteers in the winter storm and got away from him. We are heartbroken and have been searching all over the city in the bitter cold and snow." 

A scared and lost dog out on the streets of New York City can be a dangerous scenario any time of year (the heavy traffic in the city could lead to a terrible accident). But when cold weather is factored in, the situation is even more dire. Dogs who are exposed to frigid temperatures for an extended period of time can experience hypothermia, which can be fatal

But Pandy is a survivor, in every sense of the word. (According to the New York Post, Pandy had already been through her fair share of trauma, having been rescued from the Thailand meat trade.)

Nearly four hours after she slipped away, Pandy was right back at Animal Haven. Port Authority police had discovered and rescued her at the entrance of the Lincoln Tunnel. (For reference, that means Pandy ran the length of downtown Manhattan, all the way to Midtown.) 

Animal Haven's Executive Director Tiffany Lacey told petMD that she and the staff had been searching for Pandy for hours, despite the "needle-in-the-haystack feeling" in the midst of the storm. "We were all prepared to stay the entire night," she said. "No one was going to go home without finding Pandy." Thankfully, that was not the case. When the police took Pandy to a local ASPCA, they used microchip tracking to trace her back to Animal Haven. 

Despite suffering from bloody paw pads from running out in the ice, "she's doing great," Lacey assured. Pandy, now something of a celebrity, has been getting as much rest as possible since her escape. 

The amazing news of Pandy's rescue has also helped speed up her adoption process. A shy and reserved dog, Pandy wasn't getting any requests before her story made headlines. But now, as Lacey told us, she has had more than 40 requests and should get matched with a new forever home soon. 

Lacey said that every aspect of the story, from Pandy being lost and found in dangerous conditions to her adoption interest, "is nothing short of a miracle."

Image via Animal Haven