After much deliberation worthy of a national beauty contest and tabulation by an independent calculator, Peanut, a miniscule mutt from North Carolina has been crowned the World's Ugliest Dog® 2014 winner at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California. The unlikely celebrity, owned by Holly Chandler was selected for his shocking smile. Runner up and winner of the pedigree category was SweePee, a Chihuahua from Encino, CA.
More than 500 spectators clapped and cheered as 29 underdogs proudly walked the red carpet and strutted their stuff across the stage. Josie, a Chinese Crested even wore pink nail polish. Cameras flashed and video rolled as international press recorded the evening's events.
You might think that all these homely hounds are Heinz 57 mutts, however pedigreed pooches took their share of the spotlight. "We aren't interested in lineage, it's the inner beauty and personality that shine in our World's Ugliest Dog® Contest," said Karen Spencer, Sonoma-Marin Fair marketing director.
The judges score the dogs on their first impression, unusual attributes, natural ugliness, personality and audience impression. The highest scoring pedigreed dog and mutt are selected, then the winner is declared from those two, after further deliberation.
"We are proud to carry on such a great tradition at the Sonoma-Marin Fair," said Sarah Cummings, CEO. The contest has been held at the Sonoma-Marin Fair since 1989 after taking it over from the Petaluma Ugly Dog contest that started in the early 1970s.
A good many of the contestant dogs have been rescued from shelters and puppy mills and the Contest has done much to raise awareness for adoption of dogs and how no matter their physical detractions, these animals are loving companions. And the dogs certainly seem to enjoy the adoration of the fans! Adoptable animals from the Sonoma County Humane Society are also featured along with other rescue organizations, in a "Rescue Walk" escorted by royalty from the Miss Sonoma County pageant.
Peanut's owner will take home a check for $1500 with smaller cash prizes and gifts from Paradise Pet Resort going to the runner up winners. Following the contest, Peanut will be whisked off to San Francisco and New York on a media tour.
For more information, visit Sonoma-MarinFair.org and click on the World's Ugliest Dog® Contest.