Every June in a beautiful California town, a gathering happens.. A gathering of ugly dogs.
These dogs are brought together for “The World's Ugliest Dog Contest” in Petaluma, California. The competition had to close its doors due to Covid, but it is back in full swing this year. If you are in the area, it is not to be missed!
Now I know what you are thinking... There is no such thing as an ugly dog - and we agree! All dogs are beautiful. Some are just a bit different looking, right? Right?!
The contest has been happening for almost 30 years. It provides much more than a place to gawk at unusual pups. The contest is run in collaboration with local rescues to help spread awareness as many of the winners and contestants are rescue dogs.
One of the main rules of the competition is that every dog is healthy. Each dog must provide vet paperwork declaring they are healthy and there are onsite veterinarians that also check out each pup when they arrive.
The contest is split between two divisions - purebred and mixed breeds. Winners from each side then go on to compete against each other for overall winner. Owners can also dress up their pup to add a bit more flair and pageantry to the event.
Winners of the contest receive a cash prize and local rescues are given matching donations. First place winners also get to do a fair share of press including appearances on local and national news shows.
Several dogs have come to the festival but one breed remains at the top - the Chinese Crested. Famous for their hairless bodies and their mohawk tufted heads, this breed has won over 20 times and continues to be a fan favorite.
The last winner in 2019 was Scamp the Tramp. Equipped with a mess of hair and a tongue that always hangs out, he was able to bring home the trophy and the cash prize. Scamp was previously a stray on the streets of Compton. Thankfully he was able to find a loving home and now is a trophy winner.
Not only do the funky pooches need to show off their looks to the judges they also need to win them over with their personalities and accolades. Scamp the Tramp (now champ) spent his days volunteering in senior centers and schools.
Ultimately, all the contestants are loving companions no matter what tooth sticks out or whatever patch of hair is missing. Some of the pups even seem to enjoy the attention as they walk the red carpet and listen to the cheers from the audience.
Where do you think your pup stacks up against this year's contestants?
You can check out some of this year's contestants here.