PETALUMA, CALIFORNIA, June 25: The World’s Ugliest Dog contest returned to Petaluma, California, on Friday after a two-year absence due to the pandemic, and the crowned winner looks more like an alien than a dog, according to the rescue shelter where he was retrieved, Reuters reports.
‘Mr Happy Face’ came all the way from Flagstaff, Arizona, with his owner, 48-year-old musician Jeneda Benally, who calls herself his emotional support human.
“It feels incredible that there’s recognition of true inner beauty and that is just amazing. So I don’t know that I feel like I’ve got the world’s ugliest dog. I know I’ve got the world’s most lovable dog,” Benally said, adding that they believe he’s 17 years old.
‘Mr Happy Face’ blew away the judges and the crowd with his crooked head, gray mohawk, hairless, pimple-ridden body, awkward hobble, and snort-like breathing.
With the backing of the audience, he was the clear winner.
“Mr Happy Face is wonderful. I love his crooked head, his hairless body. He’s all pimply. And he’s just adorable but ugly at the same time,” said Dr Dave Rupiper, one of the judges and a local veterinarian at the East Petaluma Animal Hospital.
One dog named Josie sported hair similar to the character Doc Brown from the film franchise ‘Back to the Future’, according to one of the judges.
Wild Thang, a 6-year-old Pekinese with more hair than body and with no teeth to hold its tongue in its mouth, won second place, while a 12-year-old Blue Factor Brussels Griffon named Monkey won third place.
Other contestants included a Mexican hairless named Morita, who was found on the streets of Puerto Penasco, Mexico, and brought to the United States via the Santa Rosa rescue organization, Compassion without Borders.
A pair of pugs – both coincidentally rescued separately from Asia and now living at the Pug Hotel Senior Sanctuary in Sonoma County – also competed. – TVS
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