You've heard of missing kids on milk cartons, but what about shelter dogs up for adoption on beer cans? This was the genius initiative of Motorworks Brewing Company. The Bradenton, Florida-based brewery partnered with Shelter Manatee to release a four-pack of their Golden Lager that featured the photos of different adoptable dogs.
The goal was to spread the word about pet adoption and maybe find some of these pets a home. They never thought someone states away would spot their long-lost family pet on one of their cans. But that's exactly what happened.
Three years ago, Monica Mathis' beloved family dog, Hazel, escaped their home in Iowa. Mathis, who has since moved to Minnesota, was scrolling on social media, and she randomly came across the photos of Motorworks Brewing Company's adoptable dog four-pack.
On the can, the dog's name was listed as Day-Day, but Monica knew it was Hazel. "Oh my gosh! That looks like my dog!" she said. According to ABC 7 WWSB, Hazel was microchipped and registered to Monica, but the information was out of date, so the shelter that picked her up had no way of contacting her.
"I believe this was fate," she told Bay News 9. The shelter told Monica to gather all her information and send it over. She told WWSB, "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. I was scared I was going to lose her again. I was really nervous."
But it worked out! Monica had proof of ownership. Hazel had gone missing three years ago, and the timing was right. Day-Day was really Hazel, and she belonged to Monica.
"She was an escape artist; she was very good at getting loose," Monica told WWSB. "Bolting right through the door. Knocking me over just to get out the door." Something tells me Monica will keep her doors shut very tight from now on.
Hans Wohlgefahrt of Manatee County Animal Services told WWSB that Monica was the verified owner of Hazel, who has been in the shelter since March 2019. Once the pup gets her health certificate, she'll be traveling to Minnesota to be reunited with her long-lost owner.
It's unclear just how Hazel made it all the way from Iowa to Florida, but Hans told CNN that she's a very happy, healthy pup! "She's grown attached to me," he said. "But I'm happy to see this all the way through, even if it requires a really long road trip."
Hans told Bay News 9, "This story is one of the best we've seen." As for Monica, she is overjoyed that she will be reunited with Hazel and cannot wait to get her back in her arms.
"I'm so happy she's OK," Monica told Bay News 9. "I can't wait for her to come home." Well, this is just about the best story I've ever heard. Who would have thought that a viral beer campaign would lead to such a heartwarming reunification story?
Of course, Hazel was just one of many, many animals in shelters who are looking for loving homes. Visit the Manatee County Animal Services website or your that of your local shelter to find more information about how to help out a pet in need.