Hank the Tank

Hank the Tank

It’s time for a Happy Tail… Meet Hank!

Hank came from a local home (part of a larger Midwest network) that was actively breeding dogs for and engaging some of their dogs in illegal dog fighting activity.

Last year, the amazing Minneapolis Police Department confiscated Hank and another male dog from this home. Hank came to the shelter in rough shape; he had scars & scabs all over his body. Even worse, Hank was severely emotionally shut down. He never once showed an ounce of defensive aggression, but he made little attempt to interact with people; he was downright terrified of most people he met. He was so stressed that his feces was pure liquid for weeks on end, despite shelter vet staff doing their best to provide medication to help him calm down.

We know what you’re thinking: but if a dog came from a dog fighting household, doesn’t that mean they would be dog aggressive?


Dogs inherently avoid conflict and most dogs – including Hank and every single other dog fighting dog that Minneapolis PD has rescued from this dog fighting network – have been dog social. In fact, most of them have been helper dogs (i.e. the most dog social dogs) in the shelter’s playgroups! How is this possible? Well, the dog fighting network Hank came from uses illegal substances to change dogs’ behavior. It’s actually a lot harder to get dogs to fight than it is to get them not to fight.

Fast forward to finding a foster for Hank. Hank’s foster initially went to the shelter to meet the other dog that came in with Hank – the one who was more emotionally sound. But once she met Hank, all bets were off. (Don’t worry – the other dog is safe with another rescue.)

Hank wiggled his way into his foster’s heart – so much so that after two weeks, she made Hank a permanent member of the family! With lots of patience, persistence, and whipped cream – Hank is starting to dog! He LOVES his people, spoons his mama every night, enjoys his canine brother, has found his voice, and enjoys his daily “plumps”- running and rolling in the grass!

Hank is still a shy boy who is cautious of many new things, but he’s also an amazing example of why you never judge a book by it’s cover, circumstance, or breed. According to stereotypes Hank should have been a vicious dog that was a danger to people and other animals… but he’s actually everything but that.

#HappyTails #DandelionFields #TheHankPlump