Florida beer company Motorworks Brewing helps out a local dog shelter by featuring dogs needing a new home on beer cans. But little could anyone imagine that for one dog, she would soon be reunited with her owner 1,700 miles away in Minnesota.
Hazel, renamed Day Day by the shelter, had vanished from the yard of her family’s then home in Iowa in 2017. Unfortunately, the mutt’s disappearance was rather mistimed as her owner Monica Mathis moved north to the neighboring state, Minnesota, a few days later.
Though Hazel the “Houdini” pup was microchipped, the paperwork for her chip went missing too. So Mathis was unable to update the microchip’s contact details. Despite Mathis’s best efforts, she was unable to trace her dog in time and reluctantly left without her.
“She was an escape artist; she was very good at getting loose,” Mathis told CNN affiliate WWSB. “Bolting right through the door. Knocking me over just to get out the door.”
Quite how Hazel, a pit bull mix, made it to Florida over 600 miles away remains a mystery. However, she ended up at the Manatee County Animal Services shelter near Bradenton. Staff checked the dog’s chip but were unable to trace Mathis as the information was out of date; Hazel was thus put up for adoption.
Luckily, the 7-year-old Hazel’s picture was featured on the Motorworks Brewing beer can earlier this year to appeal for adoption. By chance, Mathis noticed Hazel on the social media post about the beer can and instantly recognized her long-lost dog.
“I was looking at the dogs, and I was like oh my gosh, that’s Hazel,” Mathis told CNN affiliate Bay News 9.
Mathis immediately got in touch with the animal shelter. She submitted vet records and photographs of Hazel to prove she was her owner.
“I guess you can say I was a little hysterical because I was scared someone was going to adopt her at that point or something,” Mathis told WWSB. “I was scared I was gonna lose her again.”
Everything checked out, and the animal shelter began trying to figure out how to get Hazel to Minnesota. Hans Wohlgefahrt, of Manatee County Animal Services, told CNN: “She’s grown attached to me. But I’m happy to see this all the way through, even if it requires a really long road trip.”
Wohlgefahrt said that until Mathis saw Hazel’s picture emblazoned on a beer can there had been no way to track her down. Hazel’s incredible multi-state odyssey, however, has proven to be an opportunity for the Manatee animal shelter to underline not only the importance of having pets chipped but also to keep your contact details up to date.
“There was really no way we could trace [Hazel] back to that particular owner,” Wohlgefahrt told Fox News. “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.”
After hearing of Hazel’s fantastic story, the Friends of Manatee County Animal Services stepped in and offered to transport her back to Minnesota, reported Fox News.
The inspiring doggy tale is a good reminder for pet lovers to always keep their contact details up to date and never give up hope, for who knows what good fortune the world may randomly throw up if your pet goes missing one day.
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