After Elizabeth Holmes’s blood empire shuttered, but before she was hit with criminal fraud charges, the disgraced Theranos founder tried to get away with one last scam: convincing people that her dog, who pooped wherever he pleased, was a wolf.
In the fall of 2017 — while Theranos was under investigation by the FBI, the Department of Justice, and the Securities and Exchange Commission for fraud — Vanity Fair reports that Holmes flew first-class across the U.S. to adopt a 9-week-old Siberian husky. Before she even officially adopted him, she knew she would name him Balto, after the world-famous sled dog that made a dangerous 600-mile journey in 1925, bearing medicine to save an entire village from diphtheria, who is known for his perseverance in the face of adversity. (She apparently felt that this represented Theranos’ journey, which, okay.)
To Holmes, however, her Balto was no regular dog: Upon discovering that a small part of Siberian huskies’ genomes trace back to an ancient wolf, Holmes decided that her puppy, too, was actually a wolf. She would reportedly repeat this thoroughly unsubstantiated claim to anyone who asked her about Balto’s breed — something she apparently still does to this day.
But during his short time at Theranos headquarters, Balto did act like a wild animal. Per Vanity Fair, the headstrong dog would defiantly march through Theranos’ labs alongside Holmes, contaminating samples with his hair left and right. He also reportedly had regular habit of pooping and peeing all over the Theranos headquarters, which he’d shamelessly do in front of guests and in the middle of board meetings.
Balto may not technically be a wolf, but he sure lives like one.