WHARTON, N.J. (CBSNewYork) — A missing New Jersey dog has been found and reunited with her family, but she is a little worse for the wear after taking a big fall.

As CBS2’s Steve Langford reported, the dog is now on the road to recovery.

The dog, named Brandy, was lost, frightened and injured at the bottom of a quarry in Wharton, New Jersey after plunging down a 40-foot cliff.

“They can’t believe she survived the jump,” said pet owner April Patiro. “They said they’ve seen deer jump off that and die.”

April and Stan Patiro’s precious pup was the focus of a desperate search that came to involve everyone from neighbors to strangers and ultimately quarry workers.

“She must have tried to brace herself, because that’s when her wrist or paw broke,” Stan Patiro said.

Brandy had been on the run from her Rockaway Township, New Jersey home for days, after her owners were away one night due to an urgent hospital visit.

“We had a friend come with a drone to see over the area,” April Patiro said. “The response was completely overwhelming.”

After five agonizing days, the Patiros received a call from the Tilcon Mt. Hope Quarry, telling the Patiros they thought they’d spotted the lost dog.

Brandy’s owners rushed to the quarry, five miles from home, where staffers reunited them with their traumatized pet after rescuing Brandy. Neighbors rejoiced too.

“We all shed tears. We couldn’t stop crying,” said neighbor Terina Drugac. “We were just so happy that she was found.”

Area residents have now organized a fundraising effort to help pay for the dog’s vet bills. It has been one emotional ordeal for all – especially for first-time pet owner April Patiro.

“I never wanted a dog. I never had a dog,” she said. “Now I know what a dog really means.”

Brandy’s owners said she is recovering from her injuries, and they plan to keep her on a short leash from now on.


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