Beer can leads to Minnesota woman reuniting with missing dog

She spotted a picture of her dog, Hazel, who she hadn't seen in three years, on a Florida brewery's label posted on Facebook.

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By Jacob Cavaiani

A Minnesota woman was reunited with her dog, Hazel, this week after spotting her missing pet's picture on a Florida brewery's beer can.

The road back together for Monica Mathis, 33, and Hazel began last month when Mathis was scrolling through Facebook and saw a picture of a dog that looked familiar. It was Hazel, her mixed breed that had been missing for three years.

What Mathis had hit upon was a label posted on Facebook from Motorworks Brewing, of Bradenton, Florida, which featured four adoptable dogs, including Hazel. Proceeds from sales of the cans were destined for a fund to build a new county animal shelter.

Hazel, center right, who shelter workers had called Day Day, was featured on a beer can from Motorworks Brewing in Bradenton, Florida. Part of the proceeds will go toward fundraising efforts for a new shelter. After seeing the dog's picture on Facebook, Monica Mathis, of St. Paul, Minn., verified with Manatee County Animal Services that the dog was hers.Motorworks Brewing

Mathis saw the picture of the beer cans pop up on her Facebook feed when the story went viral.

It’s not the first brewery to gain attention for putting adoptable dogs on its labels. Fargo Brewing Company in North Dakota also used beer cans to help dogs find forever homes.

Manatee County Animal Services in Florida said Hazel, who its workers called DayDay, had a license and a microchip, but the contact information was outdated.

After verifying that Mathis was Hazel's owner, plans were made to bring them back together. Hazel went missing in Iowa three years ago, and it’s unclear how she made it to the shelter in Florida.

Hans Wohlgefahrt, the shelter’s outreach and events specialist, drove the dog from Florida to St. Paul, Minnesota. They arrived at Mathis’ home Friday afternoon.

“I feel like I’ve gotten the greatest gift in the world to have her home,” Mathis said.

Wohlgefahrt called Hazel “such a good little road buddy.”

Workers at Manatee County Animal Services with Hazel, or DayDay, who began the journey from Florida to Minnesota on Wednesday. A shelter employee drove the dog to be reunited with her owner, Monica Mathis.Manatee County Animal Services

“Really, this is a simple mission. It’s to get a lost dog home to its owner,” he said. “That’s what this road trip is all about.”

Wohlgefahrt greeted Mathis and her children not only with Hazel but with some gifts from Florida, including beer cans with the dogs’ faces on them.

Mathis recently bought new dog toys, a leash and the same dog food Hazel was eating at the shelter.

“This animal is a part of my family, and I’m so grateful to get her back,” Mathis said.