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Student recognized by UTPD for helping lost dog

Miranda Dziobak, third-year biochemistry student, has received The University of Toledo Police Department challenge coin.

The UTPD challenge coin is given to citizens who go the extra mile to help someone in need.

It was a happy holiday for Gizmo, who was found by UT student Miranda Dziobak Dec. 24 and returned to the pet sitter.

On Dec. 24, Dziobak was driving home from her job at Helzberg Diamonds. She was taking Talmadge Road when she saw a strange dark lump in the street. After stopping her car to investigate, she found that it was a small, tan lap dog named Gizmo.

Dziobak attempted calling the number on the dog tag several times, but with no response. She took the dog home for a little while before deciding to take him to the UTPD.

“I honestly just didn’t know where else to take him besides the police station,” Dziobak said. “I really didn’t want to see him go to a shelter because he was seriously so sweet.”

UT Police Chief Jeff Newton shook hands with Miranda Dziobak, a student majoring in biochemistry, after presenting her with the UTPD challenge coin and certificate of appreciation for helping a lost dog named Gizmo.

With the help of UT Police Dispatcher Kendra Ries, Gizmo’s pet sitter, Dr. Paul Schaefer, associate professor and assistant dean for student affairs in the College of Medicine and Life Sciences, was contacted.

“I can say that after a lot of panicked searching, hearing from the UT Police that they in fact had Gizmo and he was safe and sound was a moment of true grace,” Schaefer said. “The relief was tremendous as it very much felt like there was going to be a bad ending to this story.”

“We are so grateful that [Dziobak] stopped and saved our silly little dog,” owner Stephanie Scigliano said. “He’s always up for an adventure.”

Dziobak said she wanted to help the dog since she is a huge animal lover and did not want someone to hit him.

“It’s hard to say what the award means to me. I wasn’t expecting anything out of this,” Dziobak said. “I guess it’s nice because it means someone else cares about something that’s really important to me. It’s a restoring-my-faith-in-humanity kind of feeling.”

Ries was impressed with the concern Dziobak expressed over the welfare of the dog and the lengths she went to help.

“She is a breath of fresh air that put Gizmo’s safety and happiness first,” Ries said. “The University should be honored to have students like Ms. Dziobak and should praise her for her actions.”