Hank the Ballpark Pup Returns to His Roots
Hank, “The Ballpark Pup,” will return to his old grounds in Phoenix, Arizona, this Saturday to make an appearance at Maryvale Baseball Park. The appearance will be tied to an “adopt-a-pet” event and fundraiser for the Arizona Humane Society.
“Brewers fans and dog lovers in Arizona made it clear that they wanted to have a chance to see Hank again, and we are happy to make this a reality,” said Brewers Chief Operating Officer Rick Schlesinger. “We are very grateful to our friends at Southwest Airlines for giving Hank an opportunity to visit his old hometown and look forward to raising funds and awareness for the Arizona Humane Society.”
Hank will appear at the adopt-a-pet event at Saturday’s game, and will be available for photos for approximately 30 minutes on the right field concourse immediately following the Famous Klement’s Sausage Race in the middle of the sixth inning. Fans will have an opportunity to take a photo of Hank in exchange for a voluntary donation to the Arizona Humane Society. (NOTE: Because of the heat and concern for Hank’s well-being, only a limited number of fans will be able to be accommodated).
Hank’s story started when he first appeared at camp on February 17, 2014, the day of the first workout for Brewers pitchers and catchers. That morning, he wandered up to staff at the Brewers Maryvale facility after clearly being a homeless stray for an extended period of time. Hank’s story quickly went viral, and his connection to the team became official when he found a permanent home in Milwaukee. His arrival in Milwaukee via a Southwest Airlines flight on March 16 was a celebrated event, with hundreds of fans waiting outside of security to meet Milwaukee’s most famous four-legger.
The Brewers have worked closely with the Arizona and Wisconsin Humane Societies since that first day when Hank arrived, and their collective staff members have provided counsel on how best to care for Hank’s basic needs as he adjusted to his new surroundings. Hank’s circle of caregivers in Phoenix also worked tirelessly to ensure that he had the best care possible until his “forever home” was determined.
Hank made frequent appearances at Spring Training games in a concourse booth, where fans lined up for an opportunity to have their photo taken with him in exchange for a voluntary donation to the Arizona Humane Society. It wasn’t long before a line of “Hank gear” (which now numbers over 30 items, from t-shirts to Bobbleheads to books) was produced and made available through Brewers retail stores. It was all for a good cause as 20% of the gross sales are donated to the “Hank Fund,” a charitable resource developed by the Wisconsin Humane Society.
In addition, Hank has appeared at photo opportunities, book signings, and numerous charitable events to also help raise money for the Fund.
Hank’s year culminated in Los Angeles as he was named “Dog of the Year” at the nationally-televised World Dog Awards.