Hank the dog coming to Milwaukee

Milwaukee Brewers' new spring training mascot Hank chews on a glove as he attends a meeting of pitchers during Brewers spring training baseball practice, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, in Phoenix.
Milwaukee Brewers' new spring training mascot Hank chews on a glove as he attends a meeting of pitchers during Brewers spring training baseball practice, Thursday, Feb. 20, 2014, in Phoenix. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

MILWAUKEE (WITI) – Less than one month ago, he was wandering the streets of Phoenix. Now, he’s officially a Milwaukee Brewer.

It was announced on Friday, March 14th that Hank, “The Ballpark Pup,” will make the move north to Milwaukee this Sunday on a Southwest Airlines Charter flight, joining Brewers executives, sponsors and family members on the flight to Mitchell International Airport.

Dignitaries expected to be on hand for Hank’s airport arrival include Milwaukee County Executive Chris Abele and Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett.

From sun to snow, the next chapter of the pop culture icon begins this week.

Watch video of Brewers General Manager Doug Melvin telling Hank he made the team:

Hank first appeared at camp on February 17, the day of the first workout for pitchers and catchers, and he immediately captured the hearts of everyone at Maryvale Baseball Park, as well as pet-lovers across the world. Stories on Hank appeared everywhere from the London Daily Mail to PEOPLE Magazine, and nearly every major national news and talk show across the United States. The interest in Milwaukee has surged, with “Hank Updates” appearing nearly every day in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel and other media outlets.

The Brewers have worked closely with the Arizona and Wisconsin Humane Societies since the day that Hank first wandered into camp, and their staff provided counsel on how best to care for Hank’s basic needs as he adjusted to his new surroundings.

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 Hank in exchange for a voluntary donation to the Humane Society. Through these and other opportunities, Hank has already helped raise thousands of dollars to support the cause.

As for Hank’s new home, he has been permanently adopted by the family of a Milwaukee Brewers executive. To date, the Brewers alone have received more than 1,000 offers from others to adopt Hank and provide him with a stable “forever home.” The offers have come from players, staff and countless fans and team corporate and philanthropic partners.

Fans can keep up with the latest news on Hank and tweet their welcome messages to the ballpark pup using the #BallparkPup hashtag.

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