Milwaukee Brewers’ Mascot Hank Wins Top Honor at World Dog Awards

hank the dog and hank aaronHank the Dog — the formerly scruffy stray who became an internet sensation after he wandered into the Milwaukee Brewers’ spring training facility in Phoenix last February, was rescued by the team and then became its unofficial mascot (he’s named after the legendary Hank Aaron, who’s posing with him in this photo) — won the top honor at the first-ever World Dog Awards, which aired on The CW Thursday.

“Hank has been working his magic over the past few months, and has touched people in ways you can’t imagine, and other dogs he has single-handedly — single pawedly? — helped find homes for,” said Marti Wronski, Hank’s dog mom and the Brewers’ vice president and general counsel, in her acceptance speech. “We promise to keep taking good care of him so he can keep everyone smiling. Please remember to keep looking into dog rescue and adoption.”

The other nominees for Dog of the Year included Duke, the canine mayor of a village in Minnesota; Peanut, a burn survivor who was crowned the 2014 World’s Ugliest Dog; Sky, winner of Best in Show at the 2014 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show; and Wacha, a hound mix rescued by Bravo TV’s Andy Cohen.

For a show that promoted dog rescue and adoption, it was disheartening that the Dog of the Year award was presented by Paris Hilton, who recently paid $25,000 for two teacup Pomeranian puppies. Really, World Dog Awards?!

Pet parents who, unlike Hilton, opted to adopt instead of shop were asked to share their own rescue stories on social media using the hashtag #dogtales. Some of the posts will be featured on The CW’s Dog Tales web page.

Nearly 2 million viewers watched the World Dog Awards last night, according to Deadspin Hollywood. The show was produced in conjunction with and for the benefit of the ASPCA and the PEDIGREE Foundation.

Photo via Twitter