Phillip the Whippet

Back in March, Madison Magazine hosted Madison’s Cutest Pets Search to find the area’s most fetching pets. We didn’t expect to get 370 entries, and it was nearly an impossible task to choose winners. We editors cried from cuteness. We laughed at the silly faces. We obsessed over bow tie-clad Frenchies, smiley terriers, curious kittens, spiky hedgehogs and even an axolotl. Top awards aside, we concluded that every one of the entries could have been a winner, and browsing this cross-section of pets gives us confidence to say: The Madison area officially has some of the cutest pets around.

Overall Winner


Photo by Nikki Hansen


Winning entry submitted photo (Courtesy of the owners)


Photo by Nikki Hansen


Photo by Nikki Hansen/Bandanas by Petphoria


Photo by Nikki Hansen

Snickers, Hershey, Kit Kat

Photo by Nikki Hansen


Photo by Nikki Hansen/Bandana by Rupert & Co.


Photo by Nikki Hansen


Photo by Nikki Hansen

Phillip Edward Hoisington

Photo by Nikki Hansen


Photo by Nikki Hansen

Screen Shot 2022-05-20 at 11.19.04 AM

Five honorable mentions


Top Row left to right: Peaches, Bucky, Waddles; Bottom Row left to right: Stanley, Chloe, Finnley (Courtesy of owners)


Top row left to right: Surly and Charles, Louise, Olive; Bottom row left to right: Abigail, Ollie, Disney (Courtesy of owners)


Top row left to right: Winnie, Bailey, Donnie; Bottom row left to right: Dude, Marcel (Courtesy of owners)


Cuddy and JJ on left and Remi on right (Courtesy of owners)


Porter (left) and Freddie Mercury (right) (Courtesy of owners)


Top left then clockwise: Vincent, Dolly, Luci, Meekah (Courtesy of owners)


Left to right: Lucy, Dr. Henry Jones Jr., Luna (Courtesy of owners)


Left then clockwise: Lucky, Windigo, Oskar, Albert (Courtesy of owners)


Left then clockwise: Bailey Rice, Summer, Kingston, Levee (Courtesy of owners)

Senior Editor

Maggie Ginsberg is a senior editor at Madison Magazine. Her long-form features have garnered numerous honors since 2006 including from the National City Regional Magazine Association, the Milwaukee Press Club and the American Society of Journalist and Authors. In addition to helping edit the work of Madison Magazine's contributing writers, freelancers and essayists, she writes features and the monthly Looking Back historical photo department page. Online, Maggie conducts monthly author Q&As and covers the local literary scene with her Sunday Reads monthly e-newsletter. Her own debut novel, "Still True," was published by the University of Wisconsin Press in September 2022. 

You can also find her on Instagram.