Named after Amelia Mignonette Grimaldi Thermopolis Renaldo, a character from the Disney movie “The Princess Diaries,” Mia escaped from the backyard about two weeks ago, owner Katherine Matteson said. When she took Mia outside to use the restroom, Mia ran up over a snow drift and hopped over the fence.

After the recent heavy snow and life-threatening weather, Matteson assumed the worst.

Lucky for her, two Mizzou students, Riley Girardier and Trevor Koelling, spotted Mia outside the entrance of Memorial Stadium. Seeing the dog alone, they tried to catch her.

Mia, unfortunately, has a tendency to run away. This time instead of escaping home, she ran right into Memorial Stadium by the Jumbotron.

Not wanting to abandon the dog, the students tried some creative methods to get Mia out of hiding.

“We tried to lure her out with chicken strips, and it didn’t work quite as planned,” Girardier said.

After the mission to lead Mia to them with a trail of food failed, Coelling and Girardir tried the next best option — getting help.

“We knew we couldn’t get inside the stadium so we called the police,” Girardier said.

Officers John Hayes and Susan Huang met the students and got security to let them into the stadium. After cornering her behind an ice machine, they eventually got hold of her.

MUPD took Mia to a vet to check for a chip to no avail. They also got her groomed at Lizzi & Rocco’s Natural Pet Market. Hayes took Mia home, bought her some food and enjoyed her unexpected company.

“She’s a snuggle bug, that’s for sure,” Hayes said.

Meanwhile, Sgt. Jennifer Perry posted pictures of Mia from her personal Facebook account onto the “Columbia, Missouri Lost and Found Pets” page.

Matteson realized that Mia had been found after her friend showed her the post.

“My mom was like, ‘She’s a true Tiger. You found her on Faurot,’” Matteson said.

Matteson finally reunited with Mia at 2 p.m. Thursday at the MUPD headquarters, where she met the students and officers who rescued her dog.

“Pets are super important, and having everyone work together to bring her home was awesome,” Matteson said.

After two long weeks, Mia is finally home.

  • I'm a community reporter for spring 2019, and I'm a sophomore at the University of Missouri studying magazine writing. Reach me at, or in the newsroom at 882-5720.

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