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A Golden retriever that was missing for 16 days has been reunited with its owners following a water rescue conducted Tuesday morning by troopers with the New Jersey State Police.
Troopers Ryan Koehler and Vincent Ferdinandi were preparing for their shift when they received a report of a dog swimming in New Jersey’s Barnegat Bay.
They responded in a boat and located Chunk, 3, who was in the water near the Mantoloking Bridge, about 45 miles southeast of Trenton, police said.
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Soon after, the troopers escorted the pup safely to shore. New Jersey State Police shared a photo of the dog on Facebook after it was reunited with its owners.
“Chunk, who is three years old, was missing for more than two weeks,” they wrote. “Needless to say he was ecstatic to be reunited with his grateful owners.”
On June 6, the canine took off from its owners Marie and Jim Zangara while playing on a beach at F-Cove, a popular gathering place for boaters in Brick Township, according to FOX 29 of Philadelphia.
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Chunk with owners Marie and Jim Zangara after the dog was rescued Tuesday by New Jersey State Police.
(New Jersey State Police)
Ferdinandi told PEOPLE that two joggers on the Mantoloking Bridge spotted Chunk on Tuesday, but when they tried to grab the dog, he jumped back in the water. The pup then swam nearly two miles across the bay before police rescued him.
After the ordeal, Jim noted the canine was exhausted and had “lost 20 pounds,” FOX 29 reported.
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Despite his condition, the family was just grateful their beloved Chunk was alive.
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“I’m just over the moon. I’m just so happy to have him back,” Marie told the station.