PETALUMA, Calif. — This contest isn’t about beauty. Instead, these four-legged dynamos compete on their lack of cuteness all in an effort to win the title of World’s Ugliest Dog.
The competition was ruff — 19 dogs battled it out for the crown before a winner was selected on Friday at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds & Event Center in Petaluma, California.
This year’s winner — Scamp the Tramp — is a former stray with a messy mane that “no amount of conditioner can calm,” according to his official biography, which features a picture of the pooch with his tongue extended and unruly tresses covering one of his eyes.
His owner, Yvonne Morones, said that she rescued Scamp at the “last hour” from a Los Angeles animal shelter and has no regrets about the way it’s all turned out. “It was on the way home that I knew I made the right choice,” Morones said. “There we were, two strangers in a car on the way home to a new start … It was like he knew he had found his forever home.”
Scamp has been a pet therapist for seven years, serving at the Sebastopol Senior Center and bringing his brand of ugly to help those in need. He also volunteers weekly to listen to first graders read stories, his bio says.
In addition to bragging rights, Scamp won a trophy and $1,500, which will be matched in a donation split between the Humane Society of Sonoma County, Angels Fund and Compassion Without Borders.
Two other dogs, Wild Thang and Tostito, came close to winning the coveted crown. Wild Thang took second place in this year’s competition. She is a 3-year-old Pekingese from Los Angeles who suffers from distemper, which impacts the movement of her jaw and tongue. Third-place runner-up Tostito is a rescue who had a rough start in life and as a result is missing his teeth and lower jaw.