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The Epic Tale of Hank the Dog and His Beloved Stuffed Purple Hippo Made Our Week


Meet Hank, a super cute former shelter pup who has a crazy obsession with a fuzzy purple hippo. Hank’s hippo, who doesn’t have a name, is his very best friend. The two do everything — like eating, sleeping, and playing — together. But one day, Hank’s beloved hippo was found torn into shreds — creating what is now known as one of the best Instagram stories of all time.

It all started when the Fox Valley Humane Association in Appleton, Wisconsin, decided to post a photo of Hank and his friend on the shelter’s Instagram and Facebook page with an unusual adoption notice.

“Hank and his purple hippo are a bonded pair, so if you aren’t ready for a 4-year-old Chocolate Lab to come home when you adopt your fuzzy hippopotamus… Well, sorry, we can’t approve your application,” the post read. “The hippo won’t let us get an age on her, but we don’t think she’s quite as old as Hank. They’ve been together a long time, though. She is spayed and current on vaccinations, but does seem a bit lethargic. Hank is most definitely not. They do say that opposites attract…”

Just four days after making the cheeky post, the Fox Valley Humane Society found the little purple hippo nearly decapitated. Naturally, “Dr. Laura” was then called in for an emergency surgery.

“Details of the incident which caused the injury are murky, as Hank is refusing to answer our questions. Yes, we have tried sternly asking, ‘What did you do?’ but he only looks away with a guilty look on his face,” the shelter shared on Instagram. “Please keep the fuzzy hippo in your thoughts.”

The very next day the shelter posted yet another photo of the stitched-up purple hippo wearing a “cone of shame.” In the other room, Hank was being “interrogated” for the crime. What did he know about this tragic incident? Was he the one to blame? The shelter teasingly asked the public in their posts.

The shelter’s fun-loving staff even went as far as posting a “protester” video post in which a cute little basset hound paced back and forth on the sidewalk with a sign that read, “Free Hank!”

The local police department also got in on the fun by bringing in a canine to sniff for clues!

Then, after a full week of shenanigans, the shelter made one final post that cleared Hank’s name of any wrongdoing — and even claimed that he was the hero all along! We knew you didn’t do it, Hank.

“Hank is not only innocent, but a hero!” the post read, much to his fans’ relief.

After the whole incident blew up on social media, Hank (and his cute purple hippo pal) were finally adopted by a loving family. What a heartwarming ending to a wild — yet hilarious — investigation!

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