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Firefighters save dog from Lawrence creek, seek owner

Lawrence-Cedarhurst volunteer firefighters, from left, Joseph McHugh, 22,

Lawrence-Cedarhurst volunteer firefighters, from left, Joseph McHugh, 22, Thomas Cinque, 31, and Capt. Michael Beilinson, 26, rescued this dog from drowning in Bannister Creek in Lawrence. (May 21, 2012) Credit: Handout

When Harriet Rose returned from work Monday night at 7:30 p.m., she looked out her window at the backyard of her Lawrence home, as she usually does.

This time, she saw a wandering dog fall off her dock and into Bannister Creek.

She went outside, and, seeing that the dog had vanished in the creek, called the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department on her cell phone.

“The thought of going back into my house and that dog drowning... there was just no way I could let that happen,” Rose said.

Three volunteers, Capt. Michael Beilinson and firefighters Joseph McHugh and Thomas Cinque, responded in 10 minutes by boat and located the dog.

During the rescue, McHugh, wearing a cold water rescue suit and tethered with a safety rope, plunged into the water make the rescue.

“I was just worried that he was going to bite me, but once I got to him he realized I wasn’t a threat and I realized he wasn’t a threat,” said McHugh, 22, of Cedarhurst. “He was tired. He wanted to get out at that point.”

It was Cinque’s first time responding to a water rescue.

“There was nothing for the dog to rest on. We cornered it and got it back on the boat and back to the department.” said Cinque, 31, of Cedarhurst, who joined the department one month ago.

Beilinson, 26, said the dog might have gotten away from its owner because the leash was still attached to the collar. Fire Chief Joseph Sperber said because the dog was not wearing an identification tag, they are still waiting for its owner to come forward. If the owner isn’t found by the end of the day Wednesday, the department will look to find him a new home.

“He looked like a pit bull or boxer mix,” said Sperber, 44, of Cedarhurst. “He was very well-mannered, well-trained and had a great demeanor. It must belong to someone because it’s well-groomed, healthy.”

“People have already reached out to us,” Beilinson said. “Some residents and firemen have shown an interest.”

Ever since the dog was saved, he has been following Beilinson around without so much as a bark.

“The dog loves Captain Mike,” Cinque said. “This dog is our mascot until we find it a home.”

If you have information about this dog, call the Lawrence-Cedarhurst Fire Department at 516-569-0042.

Above: Lawrence-Cedarhurst volunteer firefighters, from left, Joseph McHugh, 22, Thomas Cinque, 31, and Capt. Michael Beilinson, 26, rescued this dog from drowning in Bannister Creek in Lawrence. (May 21, 2012)

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