Patty Mezynski has been walking her postal route in the west end of Valley Stream for 20 years. Never before has she found someone’s lost pet.
A few weeks ago, she was delivering the mail to a home on Guenther Street when, on the stoop, she noticed a ferret. It had made a nest for itself out of plastic flowers. “I just saw it and I didn’t think anything of it,” she said, adding that the animal looked scared and lonely.
But then, Mezynski remembered seeing signs posted around the neighborhood about a missing pet ferret. Soon after, she ran into a friend who was out walking his dog and told him. They tried to call the number on the flier, but were unable to reach anyone.
The pair then called Central Veterinary Associates, a 24-hour animal hospital in Valley Stream, and the staff was able to get in touch with the owner even though he was not one of their clients. Mezynski and her friend got a call back, and were told they could drop the ferret off at its owner’s house a few blocks away.
Mezynski scooped up the ferret, which she said was friendly, and walked to a house on Henry Street, where someone was home to open the door and allow the ferret inside. Mezynski said she immediately could tell the animal knew it was home, where it had a ferret friend waiting.
“I was just glad to find him,” she said, adding that it had been missing for several days. “I was just happy he didn’t run away from me. The owner was glad to have him back.”
Debbie Spina, a receptionist at Central Veterinary Associates, helped facilitate the reunion. “We always try to get the pets and their owners reunited somehow,” she said. “We go out of our way to do that.”
Dr. John Charos, president of the animal hospital, said Spina’s persistence in trying to track down the owner paid off. He said that this situation, although it had a happy ending, should be a reminder to pet owners to have a microchip implanted in their animals. A microchip, he said, would provide animal hospitals and shelters with vital information that can help reunite a pet with its owner.
Charos added that an animal with a microchip would never be euthanized because it is someone’s pet. Installing a chip is a safe procedure, he explained.
Mezynski, who lives in Valley Stream, has worked for the post office for 25 years and has had virtually the same route for two decades, spanning from just south of Merrick Road to Meyer Avenue. The best part of her job, she said, is meeting people.
The ferret was definitely her biggest find while walking her route. “What are the odds you’re going to find a pet like this?” she said. “I was just glad it had a happy ending.”