July 12, 2013 at 5:45 PM ET
Passengers riding a local Staten Island bus on Monday morning witnessed an unusual fare-beater make her way to a free seat: a collarless dog.
The female pit bull mix, believed to be around 4 years old, boarded the S-94 bus at Deppe Place around 7 a.m., sneaking in front of some unfazed customers before settling down in the back row of the bus, according to MTA spokesperson Judie Glave.
"She was very friendly," Glave told TODAY.com. "Her tail was wagging."
Bus operator Deborah Samuels phoned a dispatcher, and offloaded about 15 passengers while waiting for the NYPD to arrive. The dog remained calm and affectionate during the hour-long wait for the arrival of the police, leading those involved to believe that she has an owner.
"She seemed so sweet and loving that it's clear she's being missed by somebody," Glave said.
James Catanzaro, the MTA's Staten Island superintendent in buses and road operations, went around the neighborhood asking residents and joggers if they recognized the dog, but had no luck with any leads, according to Glave.
The dog was taken to the Staten Island Animal Care and Control, where she is still being cared for. No one has come to claim her yet, but she is healthy, according to Animal Control spokesperson Richard Gentles.
"Because she's clean and appears healthy, it seems like she has an owner," Gentles added.
Though she does have a microchip, it's unregistered.
"It's important that people register their microchip and license their dogs," Gentles said. "We want to reunite people with their pets as soon as possible."