Fare-beaters in New York typically are removed from city buses and sometimes picked up by the police.
One canine rider who snuck onto a city bus in Staten Island, NY last week found that out for herself (see video below).
But even a Pit Bull mix boarding a bus alone could not faze early morning passengers around 7 a.m. last Monday at the Deppe Place stop. Like she was just any commuter, the pooch made her way down the aisle and eventually settled in the back row of seats.
This may sound like a scene from one of those crazy dog adventure movies, but Judie Glave, an MTA spokeswoman, told NBC’s TODAY Show that it was real and the dog was very friendly. “Her tail was wagging,” Glave says.
Still, the MTA cannot take a chance with an unknown dog aboard, so the driver phoned dispatch, off loaded the 15 passengers who, unlike the dog, most likely had to get to work, and waited for police.
It took an hour for police to arrive, but Glave says the dog didn’t seem to mind the wait, unlike some human commuters, who would be steaming at a long delay.
In the meantime, an MTA worker inquired throughout the neighborhood in hopes of finding the daring dog’s family, but had no luck.
The dog was then given a ride, but it was with the NYPD to Staten Island’s Animal Care and Control, instead of the next scheduled stop for the bus.
The carousing canine had no collar, but did have a microchip. Unfortunately, the chip was not registered.
“Because she’s clean and appears healthy, it seems like she has an owner,” Richard Gentles, a spokesperson for Animal Control told TODAY. “It's important that people register their microchip and license their dogs. We want to reunite people with their pets as soon as possible.”
Gentles confirmed that the dog’s family saw the news reports last week and on Monday reclaimed their pooch, Maggie, who they had found wandering 5-6 months ago as a stray.
Gentles says the family believes someone went into their yard and left the gate open.
The old microchip was implanted before Maggie was found several months ago, but Gentles says she now has a new microchip with her current information, in case she decides she wants to take another bus ride.
Dog parents can take two important lessons about the safety of your fur kids from this story. One is to make sure that your pets have microchips and the information is kept current, and the other is to never leave your dog in your yard alone.
A rash of incidents has been reported nationwide about dogs being stolen after being left unattended outside.
Image: Maggie on the bus / via Staten Island Live