ROCHESTER, NY (WROC) – Milo, Rochester’s red-winged batdog, died Sunday. He was seven years old.
The Red Wings made the announcement Monday, days after postpone a planned day of Milo the Bat Dog in Innovative Field.
Milo’s last appearance on the pitch was on opening day, April 28. He will appear at five baseball card giveaway events during the Red Wings season.
Read the Rochester Red Wings statement
It is with great sadness and heavy hearts that the Red Wings announce the passing of Milo The Bat Dog, who has worked for the team since 2019. The beloved Golden Retriever was seven years old.
Milo was born on September 23, 2015. His owner, Josh Snyder, picked him up from a family-owned breeder in Lititz, Pennsylvania. The bond that Josh and Milo developed from that day made it possible to fulfill Red Wings director of promotions Tim Doohan’s idea a couple of years later: to specifically train a dog to retrieve bats in front of thousands of Red Wings fans. during a game. In addition to doing an amazing job finding bats, Milo’s friendly and outgoing demeanor endeared him to fans, staff, players, coaches and umpires.
Milo instantly became a fan favorite and regardless of the game score, some of the loudest cheers during the games he worked on were when he was scouting for bats for his Red Wings teammates. He worked 2 games in 2019 before COVID halted the 2020 season. During COVID, he appeared numerous times on Red Wings social media and his celebrity status and following continued to grow. He made a triumphant return to Innovative Field for two games in 2021, six games in 2022 and was scheduled for eight games in 2023, which would have set a career high. This year he delighted fans on opening day and on Friday, April 28.
In addition to finding bats and making people laugh and smile, Milo used his incredible talents to help others through the Milo Making a Difference campaign. He partnered with the Flower City Group to raise thousands of dollars for local non-profit organizations including the Wounded Veteran Foundation, TAPS, Bivona, SPCC, Veterans Outreach Center and Honor Flight. Money was raised for every bat she picked up and by selling Milo’s merchandise at the team store. In addition to performing during games, Josh and Milo held Meet and Pet sessions at select games where fans had the opportunity to meet, pet, and take a selfie with “The Goodest Boy.” In 2021, Milo was also honored with his own gift of a ponytail. He also did a Milo Pawtographed poster giveaway in 2022. And in 2023, Milo will appear in a series of 5 different baseball card giveaways.
Fans looking to support Josh and Milo during this difficult time are encouraged to consider the following options:
- A Go Fund Me account has been set up to help offset Milo’s medical expenses that have accumulated over the past two weeks. Fans who wish to help in this way can click HERE.
- A donation can be made to the Milo Making a Difference campaign. This year, Flower City Group has already generously agreed to match the donation you made in 2022. The agencies that the Milo Making a Difference campaign is scheduled to benefit in 2023 are Veterans Outreach Center and Honor Flight. Fans who wish to help in this way can click HERE.
- For every Milo jersey and Milo stuffed animal sold in the Red Wings team store, a percentage will benefit the Milo Making a Difference campaign. Fans can support Milo in this way by clicking HERE.
Over the next week, the Red Wings will be working with Josh to plan a memorial event for Milo for later this summer. Those plans will be published at a later date. For now, we ask that you respect Josh’s privacy and keep him and his fiancé, Sam, in mind.
Read the letter from the people of Milo, Josh Snyder and Sam Van Hout
I wish Milo’s story had a happy ending, but unfortunately it doesn’t. Milo has passed away.
If you had the chance to meet Milo, then you know how much love he had to give. He had such a positive impact on the Rochester community. Not only because of the thousands of dollars he raised for non-profit organizations, but also because of the smiles he brought to the face of every person who saw him in action firsthand, watched a video of him picking up bats, or was lucky enough to to meet him “The Goodest Boy”, you know he was truly one of a kind of him.
In 2019, when Milo and I got a call from Tim Doohan (promotions manager at Red Wings), we were offered the opportunity to basically “prove” that he was a “bat dog”. In that first game in 2019, I can honestly say that I never thought we would be so successful, doing so much good for the community even though that was always the goal.
From 2019 to now, I honestly don’t know how many total bats Milo has gotten for the Red Wings. But what’s more important is that I know how many people Milo has loved. And that number is….every. Single. One.
Someday I will write a story about how Milo saved my life, gave so much love to so many people, and made such a positive impact on a community, all in one short lifetime, but unfortunately now is not the time.
Milo The Bat Dog’s legacy lives on in everyone. T-shirts, hats, stuffed animals and baseball cards. The stories of how you and his family went to the ballpark to see a dog looking for bats to raise money for nonprofits.
From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for everything over the years 💛
sam and josh
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.