When a Florida brewery decided to decorate beer cans with pictures of adoptable shelter pets, their novel campaign was a huge success — and then some. Not only did multiple shelter dogs find forever families, a missing dog was reunited with her owner, three years after she went missing.
Nobody knows how Day Day made it to Manatee County Animal Services, Florida shelter over a thousand miles away from her original home. The dog was wearing a microchip, but her owners hadn’t updated the contact information, leaving shelter staff unable to track them down.
Fortunately, Day Day’s luck was about to change. When Motorworks Brewery decided to decorate beer cans with pictures of adoptable shelter pets, they asked Day Day’s shelter to partner with them on this unique adoption enterprise.
It was decided that Day Day — with her friendly demeanor and wide smile — would be the perfect advocate for shelter dogs and adoption, and they were right! Check out her adorable mug on the beer can above (third to right). Even so, nobody was prepared for what happened next.
A Minnesota woman was scrolling through Facebook when she recognized one of the dogs featured on the beer cans, which were heavily promoted on social media. “I was like, ‘Oh my gosh! That’s my dog!’” Monica Mathis recalled.
“I really thought she was gone, I never thought I’d see her again,” said Mathis, who was living in Iowa three years ago when Day Day, then known as Hazel, went missing. “I had a doubt, I was like ‘Oh my gosh, it looks like her, but is it really her?”
Mathis immediately contacted Manatee County Animal Services and provide proof of ownership. This included the old address associated with Hazel’s microchip, and an array of photos documenting the dog’s growth as a puppy.
“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,” said Hans Wohlgefahrt, a shelter worker.
“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,” Wohlgefahrt said. Of the 4,000 shelter pets that pass through this shelter each year, staff manage to reunite roughly 500 animals to their owners. Almost all of those pets have updated microchips.
Regardless, Monica Mathis has learned an important lesson from this incredibly close call. “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,” she said.