Dog found treading water in Tampa Bay, search begins for owner

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. - A St. Petersburg man is trying to track down the owner of a dog found treading water in Tampa Bay.

Early Thursday morning, a fishermen saw the dog, pulled it from the water and brought it to a marina at Demens Landing Park.

It's not clear how the dog got into the water, nor how long it had been there before it was rescued.

Anthony Basile was going to pay rent for his boat slip Thursday morning when he saw the fishermen putting the dog on the dock.

He took the dog, named Baby, to his boat and has been caring for her since.

"It's sad," Basile said. "The dog is lost."

Basile said Baby could barely take care of herself and it didn't take long for him to get attached.

When he first brought Baby to his boat he wasn't sure she would even make it.

"I tried to give her some food. She wouldn't eat, she wouldn't drink. Just shaking scared," Basile said.

He sat with her for hours making sure she was warm while trying to calm her down.

So far efforts to figure that out what happened to Baby lead to more questions.

She has a collar on with her name on it, even a phone number to call, but it has been disconnected.

Baby is well trained and friendly. She is clearly comfortable on Basile's boat and is now eating, drinking and making herself more at home.

But Basile says she knows this isn't where she is supposed to be.

"If you watch the dog, she's looking for somebody else," he said.

Until he can find that person, he will treat her like she is his own baby.

"I'm not going to leave the dogs side. I'll find a home for her or keep her as long as it has to be," Basile said.

He did take her to the vet where they scanned the dog and found a micro chip.

They found one and have tried to contact the person listed, but so far, no luck.

The last listed address for the dogs owner is the Miami area.

Basile hopes someone sees this story, recognizes the dog and comes to take her home.

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