By Breanna Speth
MARSHFIELD — For one long week in January, a young Pomeranian named Izzy was roaming the cold winter streets of Marshfield.
“We have had her since she was a baby. She is a very big part of our family. We would be lost without her,” said Izzy’s owner Sara Meyer. “If we pick her up and place her outside, she usually stands there shivering. She had never tried running from our home before.”
For whatever reason, that changed when Izzy left her yard on the afternoon of Jan. 24. Upon realizing that the she was missing, Meyer immediately called the Marshfield Police Department see if someone had found her. Next, she contacted Marshfield Area Pet Shelter (MAPS), where MAPS Lost and Found Coordinator Megan Jasurda responded.
Jasurda posted to the MAPS Facebook page and instructed Meyer to post a report on “Lost Dogs of Wisconsin,” a resource pet owners can use to help find lost dogs or report missing pets. Owners can also easily make posters through the site, which Meyer did and then hung in her neighborhood.
“Once we placed flyers up, we started getting messages about sightings,” said Meyer. “It always seemed we would be a block off or few minutes behind her. We never stopped looking. We called the police department twice a day as well.”
“Megan from MAPS was amazing,” said Meyer. “She volunteered a lot of her free time out looking for Izzy and helping any way she could.”
Jasurda spent hours on different days driving around and searching on foot for fresh tracks in the snow. MAPS also set up humane live traps with small bits of dog food.
Finally, Meyer received a call from someone who had seen Izzy on a corner near her home. “We were outside talking to our neighbors, and she just showed up,” she said. “I was able to get her to come to me by calling her and offering her treats.”
Meyer immediately took Izzy to her veterinarian to be examined.
“She was scared when we found her and shaking. Being that she is only a 3.5-pound dog, we were concerned she would have frostbite or become sick,” she explained.
Fortunately, Izzy had just one small sore on one of her toes and was thin from a week of not eating.
“When we got her home, she found my son’s bed and blankets to curl up in,” said Meyer. “She has always liked to snuggle, and that didn’t change when we got her back home.”
Meyer is happy to report that after a wild week on the streets, her “Busy Izzy” is back to her spunky self.
Steps to avoid losing or to find lost pets
No pet owner wants to think that his or her pet could end up in a similar circumstance, but with one out of every three pets going missing at some point during its lifetime, there are important steps to take in case it does happen.
“Keep a collar with tags on your pet, and put the tags on a more secure key chain ring as the original tag rings are very weak, and tags easily catch and are ripped off of the collar,” said Jasurda.
She added that pet owners should always have a clear photo of their pet handy for use on posters and social media if it were to go missing.
Most importantly, all pet owners should have their pets microchipped with updated records.
“Izzy was microchipped the Friday after she came back home,” said Meyer.
“The best advice I could give anyone is to reach out to your community for help, and do whatever you can to get the word out about them missing,” said Meyer. “If we wouldn’t have put the posters up on street signs around where she was missing, we may not have found her. Because of those and people contacting us about sightings, we knew where to look.
“The other thing I can say is, ‘Don’t give up.’ Being Izzy is so small, we thought after the second day that there was no way we would see her again, but us not giving up helped us to get her back.”