Dog Rescued From Lake Michigan Is ‘a Real Michael Phelps’

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NBC and Telemundo owned stations are teaming up with hundreds of shelters across the country to host Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive the month of August, 2020 to help find loving homes for animals in need. More than 250,000 pets found their forever homes since 2015.

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Clear The Shelters™ pet adoption campaign was inspired by a 2014 North Texas pet adoption event hosted by NBC 5 / KXAS and Telemundo 39 / KXTX and dozens of area shelters that resulted in the most adopted pets in one day for North Texas. Clear The Shelters™ / Desocupar Los Albergues® is not a 501(c)(3) organization.


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A dog rescued from Lake Michigan on Chicago’s North Side Monday was reunited with its owner days after the pet went missing from a city dog beach. 

Officers received a call of a dog in the water around 10 a.m. CT and called the Chicago Police Marine Unit and the Chicago Fire Department for help. 

“I was surprised because the dog had been in the water for a least half and hour from what we can estimate,” said Officer Jennifer Terzich, who was flagged down by citizens who saw the dog in the lake. 

Terzich said she watched the dog, named Laila, until rescue crews arrived and the animal was pulled from Lake Michigan, about a half-mile offshore.

“I am a dog lover,” Terzich said. “I’ll pretty much do anything for a dog. I love them. I just wanted to make sure the dog was alive and going to be able to get back to shore.” 

Dr. Eileen Murphy at West Wrigley Animal Hospital said the dog was brought to her clinic by a group of officers Monday morning. The clinic was able to scan the dog for a microchip and located the owner.

“The owner lost the dog on Saturday and thought for sure that he wasn’t gonna get her back,” Murphy said. 

Murphy said the dog was scared but drank some water and was given treats. 

“My first thought was, ‘Is she alive?’ I didn’t think she was going to make it through the weekend but this girl is a fighter, she can survive,” said owner Charles Bogenberger. “I said, ‘I’m coming right over. Where do I need to pick her up?'” 

Bogenberger said he was at the Montrose Dog beach when Laila ran out of a gate that had been left open.

“I hadn’t even fully applied my sunscreen before she escaped through the double doors,” he said, adding that he spent his weekend scouring area parks with a group of people looking for the beloved pet. 

The pair were reunited Monday afternoon after the harrowing rescue. 

“I had no idea she could swim until yesterday but apparently she’s a real Michael Phelps,” Bogenberger said. 

Laila was adopted by Bogenberger from a shelter in Denver, Colorado. She had been found on a street in Houston, sick and malnourished, Bogenberger said. 

“She learned a lot of survival skills down there that helped her survive a weekend in Chicago,” he said. 

“I am so impressed they were willing to take a boat out into the middle of the harbor to bring her back,” Bogenberger added. “Honesty, Laila is pretty afraid of strangers, but the way she’s warmed up to them just since they rescued her is kind of incredible. It’s a testament to how friendly and genuine these people are.” 

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