The Great Pumpkin is fake. Paul is dead, Elvis lives, and man never walked on the moon. Sometimes myths and conspiracies have no end, no hard proof to end the debate.
But not today.
Through the wonders of advanced technology and modern medicine, baseball and dog lovers around the world can now rest easy. There is only one Hank, The Ballpark Pup.
Doctor of Veterinary Medicine William S. Rice of Lakeside Animal Hospital, who has cared for Hank since his arrival in Milwaukee in the spring of 2014, confirmed the identity of Hank in an examination yesterday. Dr. Rice compared original and current dental records, which were a match. In addition, a microchip implanted in Hank when he moved from Arizona was scanned yesterday, and identification number matched Hank's registration in the database.
For a second opinion, another scan was performed this morning by Dr. Nancy Weiss, Wisconsin Humane Society Veterinary Director, which reconfirmed that Hank is…Hank.
"Every day at the Wisconsin Humane Society, we see animals transform from scraggly strays to healthier, stunning pets simply because of excellent care and good grooming," said Anne Reed, President and CEO of The Wisconsin Humane Society. "In Hank's case, it's evident that his transformation is solely due to the loving care he receives from his family. In addition, Hank was microchipped and a simple scan of a chip can reveal an animal's identification. This technology not only helps to reunite lost animals with their families, but in Hanks's case, verifies that he is indeed the true Hank."
The conspiracy stemmed from a post on BrewCrewBall.com that alleged that Hank was an impostor after comparing photos from the spring of 2014 to more recent images.
"We couldn't ignore the dissimilarities, and while we all had a good laugh at the theory, we wanted to take the steps to reassure everyone through absolute proof that there was no Hank double," said Rick Schlesinger, Brewers Chief Operating Officer. "Hank is part of the Brewers family, and if anything, the interest in today's story shows how one stray dog can capture the hearts of a community. Along those lines, we knew that this would be a great opportunity to work with our friends at the Wisconsin Humane Society to deliver important messages about animal care, tracking and adoption."
Hank's story dates to February of 2014 when he wandered into the Brewers Spring Training complex in Maryvale, Arizona. Hank quickly became a fixture at Brewers camp, participating in workouts and becoming a media star on an international level. He moved to Milwaukee later that spring and was adopted by the family of Brewers Vice President and General Counsel Marti Wronski. His rise to fame included being named "Dog of the Year" at the nationally televised World Dog Awards in 2015. And just last week, he appeared on stage at the request of Cesar Millan, "The Dog Whisperer."