Larry Martino

Weekdays 3:00pm - 8:00pm

Pet owner Dalrene Wright holding 2019 "The World's Ugliest Dog Contest" winner "Scamp The Tramp"

Did you know there was a contest to determine the world’s ugliest dog?  Well, there is one, and it has been going on since the 1970s in Petaluma, California.  Every summer, dog lovers from all over bring their ugly but lovable pooches to the Sonoma-Marin Fair the fourth weekend of June.  “The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest” is part of an all day Dog Lover’s Festival, with annual attendance topping 20,000 people!

The picture you see above is of doggie owner Dalrene Wright, who is holding the 2019 winner “Scamp The Tramp.”

This year’s winner was “Mr. Happy Face,” owned by Jeneda Benally.  She adopted this hairless Chinese crested-Chihuahua mixed breed dog from a rescue shelter in Arizona.  At the time, veterinarians said he would only live another month due to tumors and other medical conditions.  He is now 17 years old and truly loved and cared for by his new owner.  And now, Mr. Happy Face is a champion!

Want to see him?  Here’s a link to a USA Today article about this year’s event which also includes photos of some of the other contestants:

According to Wikipedia, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the competition was not held in 2020 or 2021, so last weekend was the first time the contest has taken place in three years.  Unlike purebred dog shows, this contest is for ALL pooches, no matter their breed or mix of breeds.  This contest is held to celebrate dogs, not to ridicule them.  In fact, the Sonoma-Marin Fair partners with various animal rights groups to educate the public about owning pets and to provide opportunities to adopt rescue dogs.

This contest was also featured on many news programs, including The Today Show.  Here is the video of their broadcast.


Love dogs?  Here are more from a different competition earlier this year.

Meet The 66 Puppies In Puppy Bowl XVIII


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