'Like a Hollywood movie': Dog lost for more than 2 weeks rescued from Barnegat Bay

A dog lost for more than two weeks was reunited with his owners after he was found swimming in the Barnegat Bay.

News 12 Staff

Jun 22, 2021, 2:10 PM

Updated 1,036 days ago

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A dog lost for more than two weeks was reunited with his owners after he was found swimming in the Barnegat Bay.
New Jersey State Police troopers, a local fisherman and the power of social media all helped to make the reunion possible.
Chunk, a 3-and-a-half-year-old Golden retriever took off while on a boating trip with his owners Jim and Marie Zangara. The couple was at the F Cover in the Barnegat Bay.
After Chunk went missing, the Zangaras turned to social media, plastering sites like Facebook with lost dog posters.
Meanwhile, fisherman Jim Mathis set out Tuesday morning on a fluke fishing trip near the Mantoloking Bridge.
“I just started fishing. Somebody on the bridge was walking over and spotted a dog out on the in the middle of the Mantoloking. They yelled down to me and asked me if I could do something about it,” Mathis says.
Mathis says that the dog seemed to be disoriented and wasn’t swimming toward land.
“It was swimming out towards the Barnegat Bay,” he says.
Mathis tried to retrieve Chunk, but the dog nipped his hand and the collar slipped off. Mathis called the phone number on the collar and reached Marie Zangara.
“It’s just like a dream. It’s like a Hollywood movie, this ending, because he was lost in the marsh so long and then he winds up in the bay. He actually swam across the entire Barnegat Bay,” Marie says.
After Chunk got to shore the first stop was to the vet's office. The veterinarian looked him over, gave him a blood test and found him covered in ticks. He had lost about 20 pounds, was a little bit skittish, had some matted fur, but is otherwise OK.
“It’s pretty amazing being the conditions you’ve had over the past couple of weeks. The storms and whatnot and location where he was and the fact he’d probably been swimming other times as well. The distances traveled, it’s pretty amazing," says Trooper Ryan Koehler.
The Zangaras say that they thank everyone who helped to make the rescue possible.


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