Jennifer Vaz tells ABC News she is fostering the dog and hopes to adopt it.
Vaz was walking along the beach in Highlands, New Jersey, early Monday when she spotted the dog cowering in the cage as the tide came in and rescued it.
The dog is being cared for at the Monmouth County SPCA and has a new name - River. He's estimated to be about 10 months old.
The Monmouth County prosecutor's office estimates the dog was abandoned between 4 a.m. and 6 a.m., and is asking anyone who may have seen anything to contact authorities.
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