A sea turtle found by a Newfoundland dog at Ellisville Beach in Massachusetts in January was finally released on the Maryland coast this past week.
The turtle spent five months in rehab at the New England Aquarium's sea turtle hospital in Quincy, Massachusetts.
Named "Newfie" in honor of its canine rescuer, the forty pound loggerhead sea turtle paddled its way through the sands of a beach at Assateague State Park into the warm 72 degree surf in front of cheering crowds early Wednesday evening.
Veda was walking in Plymouth with her owners Leah and Brad Bares when she discovered the turtle.
Aquarium officials were sure the loggerhead would not have survived much longer in 40 degree waters in which Veda found it. Giant Newfoundland dogs have been famous for centuries for their rescue of fishermen and the shipwrecked, but Veda's find of a sea turtle might have established a rescue first for the breed.
Newfie was brought to the New England Aquarium's sea turtle hospital in Quincy where it was slowly rewarmed five degrees per day from the mid-40's to the low 70's over several days. Given her extreme hypothermia, she had multiple acute medical conditions that required months of intensive medical care and rehab.
Newfie was among nine sea turtles driven by New England Aquarium staff from Massachusetts to Maryland for release. Ocean temperatures in New England are still cold for the safe release of recovering sea turtles. Those nine turtles were among the last of the more than 300 threatened and endangered sea turtles that the New England Aquarium treated this past autumn and winter in the annual, cold-stunning season on Cape Cod.