BRADENTON, Fla. - Motorworks Brewing in Bradenton came up with a great idea to help Manatee County Animal Services spread the word about adoptable dogs.
Their campaign to put pictures of shelter pups on beer cans was a success, but in one case, the outcome was unexpected.
One of the dogs pictured on a beer can, Day Day is going to her forever home, but she wasn’t adopted.
When Day Day came through the doors at Manatee County Animal Services, she had a microchip registered to Monica Mathis, but her contact information was out of date. Despite their best efforts, shelter employees could not locate Day Day’s family.
Then, last week, Monica Mathis went online from her home in Minnesota and saw the dog she lost three years ago featured on a beer can.
“I was scrolling pretty much on Facebook and I saw,” Mathis said. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! That’s my dog!’”
Day Day, whose name is actually Hazel, went missing when Mathis lived in Iowa.
“I really thought she was gone, I never thought I’d see her again,” said Mathis. “I had a doubt, I was like ‘Oh my gosh, it looks like her, but is it really her?”
Without wasting any time, she called Manatee County Animal Services.
Hans Wohlgefahrt, with Manatee County Animal Services, said all of Mathis was able to provide proof Day Day was actually Hazel, including information for her microchip.
“We saw photos and vet records. This dog was such an important part of her family that she had everything to prove she was her owner,” Wohlgefahrt said. “There was really no way we could trace her back to that particular owner. It’s a great reminder to people when they do these things to go into their profile and make sure all their contact information is up to date.”
Photos of Hazel as a puppy (Monica Mathis)
After Hazel went missing, Mathis said she and her family moved to Minnesota. She lost the information for the microchip and was never able to update her contact information.
“Keep track of exactly what company you use, make sure your stuff gets updated, especially if your pet goes missing and don’t ever give up,” Mathis said.
It's not clear how Hazel made it from Iowa to Manatee County.
Last year, more than 4,000 pets came into the Manatee County animal shelter; 500 were returned to their owners thanks to up-to-date microchip information.
Hazel's transportation back home will be free thanks to the non-profit Friends of Manatee County Animal Services.