It’s a new day for DayDay.
The smiley rescue pup ended up at Manatee County Animal Services (MCAS) in Florida in March 2019 as a stray. According to the shelter, staff members checked the dog for a license and microchip when she first arrived, and found that she had both. Unfortunately, both the license and microchip contained old contact info for DayDay’s former owner, so the shelter was unable to get in touch with them.
Unable to locate DayDay’s old family, MCAS focused on finding the pooch a new home. After the canine spent 10 months at the shelter waiting to find a forever home, MCAS decided to boost the dog’s reach by including her in their collaboration with Motorworks Brewery, located in Bradenton, Florida, and Shelter Manatee.
The collaboration led to four MCAS rescue dogs, DayDay included, being featured on Motorworks Brewery beer cans and helped Shelter Manatee and MCAS raise money to build a new county shelter in the area.
This creative idea to raise awareness about shelter pets was covered by new outlets not just in Florida, but all across the country and the globe.
Among the countless animal lovers who saw pictures of the beer cans on their news feeds, was Monica Mathis of Minnesota. Mathis instantly recognized the dog on DayDay’s can, it was her missing pet Hazel, who she helped deliver in 2013.
Over three years ago, DayDay/Hazel disappeared from the Mathis family home, then in Iowa. Mathis and her eight children searched for the pup but they were never able to find her — until Jan. 24 2020.
After spotting DayDay/Hazel on the beer can, Mathis called MCAS and provided proof of ownership. Instead of focusing on a finding DayDay/Hazel a new family, MCAS changed gears and have now set up a reunion between the dog and her original owner.
Friends of Manatee County Animal Services (FoMCAS), a non-profit that helps fundraise for MCAS and their animals, is covering all the transportation costs required to safely drive DayDay/Hazel from Florida to Minnesota in the coming week.
“We are thrilled to be reuniting Hazel with Monica and her children. An important part of our mission is to get lost pets returned. Every pet deserves to have a loving home and we know that Hazel is returning to exactly that,” a spokesperson for MCAS told PEOPLE.
It is unclear how DayDay/Hazel made it from Iowa to Florida, but everyone is excited to see this story get a well-deserved happy ending. MCAS is using the unique reunion as a chance to remind pet owners to get their pets microchipped, and to make sure that microchip info stays updated as your contact info changes.
To learn more about MCAS and the work they do, visit the shelter’s website.