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Tag: sonoma

Is the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest getting too ugly?

sweepee

A Chinese Crested-Chihuahua mix with malformed legs and an “oozing sore” won this year’s World’s Ugliest Dog contest.

SweePee Rambo took home the title Friday night at the annual Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, beating out 15 other malformed and/or offbeat pooches, The Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported Saturday.

wurtzJudges in the contest, now in its 28th year, take into account bad appearance, bad odors, poor complexion and a host of other maladies, inherited and acquired — some of which, maybe, we shouldn’t be laughing so hard at.

Or even with.

I’ve already noted my growing dicontent with the contest, starting two years ago, when the winner was a dog whose appearance was believed to be a result of abuse — albeit abuse inflicted by a previous owner.

That — and the fact that the once-cute and well-intentioned little contest has become big business — led me to stop regularly reporting on it, at least in that cutesy manner that chuckling anchorpeople cover it with year after year.

Somehow the party atmosphere at the event — all the pageantry and hype — seems especially wrong when the appearance of some of the contestants is a result of being horribly mistreated at the hands of man.

There’s no evidence that SweePee — who is mostly hairless, blind in both eyes, has to wear diapers and has a tongue that sticks out — was mistreated. Still, I’m not sure an oozing sore should be celebrated:

“Judge Neal Gottlieb seemed particularly impressed with a sore on SweePee’s leg, noting dogs get extra points for ooze,” the Press Democrat article said.

I get what the contest was, originally, all about. But I also get what it has become, which is a little too big, a little too cut-throat and a little too prone to bestowing awards on the most disabled dog.

Owner Jason Wurtz, 44, of Encino, won a trophy and $15,000. He says he will use the money to pay for the removal of a tumor that recently popped up on SweePee’s gum line.

(Top photo by Peter Dasilva / EPA; bottom photo by Alvin Jornada / Press Democrat)

Chihuahua takes “World’s Ugliest Dog” title

A malformed Chihuahua took top honors at the World’s Ugliest Dog contest in Northern California on Friday.

Princess Abby Francis beat out Pabst, the boxer who won last year’s contest, and the usual slate of Chinese cresteds, to take the top prize.

With a gray, brown and black coat, an oddly curved back and legs, and a closed-up left eye, Abby, age 4, was rescued three months ago by Kathleen Francis.

Francis received a $1,000 check at the 22nd annual contest held at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma.

“I don’t think she’s ugly at all,” Francis said. “I think she’s the most beautiful dog.”

Francis adopted Princess Abby from her veterinarian, according to the Associated Press. Her deformities are most likely a result of being inbred.

Contest judges included Veterinarian Karen “Doc” Halligan, Vertical Horizon lead singer Matt Scannell, “That 70’s Show” actress Christina Moore and fair board member Brian Sobel.

Not quite ugly enough to win

Pabst — the newly named “World’s Ugliest Dog” — will be getting all the glory today, but we at ohmidog! think the ugly runners-up deserve some face time, too.

So here’s a look at some of the ugly also-rans from the annual contest, part of the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California.

dog_opie_180OPIE — One of five Chinese Cresteds in this year’s competition, Opie, 10, was found by a good samaritan and taken to an emergency veterinary clinic for help. He had a large ulcerated mass on his side that the rescue center that later took him in had removed. It was cancer. The skin on his body was covered with sores, abrasions and dried blood. Half of his lower jaw was missing. He has only one tooth. The rescue center named him Ooglee, but his new owner thinking “he should have a nice little boy’s name,” changed it to Opie. “We are so happy that we adopted this little dog. He is the kindest, sweetest, most gentle dog I have ever known,” wrote his owner, who prepares Opie’s meals in a food processor. “He entered this contest and is going to Petaluma to show everyone that old dogs and dogs with disabilites can be great pets!”

dog_mojoMOJO — The only Shar-Pei in this year’s ugly dog contest, Mojo has a face only a mother could love, says her mother, “and I absolutely adore her.”

“Despite her appearance, she is the sweetest, most lovable dog you could wish for. She always causes a stir wherever we go,” her owner added.

” We do everything together, she is the love of my life and makes me look good.” dog_rascal_180

RASCAL — Rascal, the  2002 World’s Ugliest Dog winner, is owned by actor, Dane Andrew of Sunnyvale, Ca. Naturally hairless and weighing seven pounds, he sports what his owner describes as “Einstein hair, crooked face and a tongue that hangs out due to being born without many teeth.” Rascal has had roles in a few horror films, coming out soon, and has a cartoon strip and documentary soon to debut, both named “The Ugliest Dog.” Rascal uses his ugly for good, his owner said, and will soon be coming out with a “patented trademark hot dog leash,” proceeds from the sale of which will go towards animal charities.

dog_arf_180 ARF –Arf, 12, was rescued as a puppy from a pound where he was on death row. Through his life, he has faced many battles, his owner says — dermatological problems, a disfigured front paw and eventually the loss of his back leg.

“Although his hair is sparse, and he puzzles people he meets, this three-legged dog continues to walk in pride with a sparkle in his eyes and a wag in his tail.”

To see all of the entrants and learn more about the contest, click here.

In memory of Gus, “World’s Ugliest Dog”

Gus, the irrepressible, one-eyed, three-legged, nine-year-old Chinese crested who was named the World’s Ugliest Dog at the 20th Annual Sonoma-Marin Fair in northern California, has died of skin cancer.

Gus, from St. Petersburg, Florida, was rescued by his owners, Jeanenne Teed and her daughter Janey, after they learned that it was being kept in a crate in someone’s garage.

When her pet won the contest in June, Teed said the prize money would be put toward the dog’s radiation treatment. Gus, who lost an eye in a fight with a cat, was also missing a leg that was amputated because of a skin tumor.

When Gus accompanied Janey to school one day, frightened teachers corralled him into a bathroom with a broomstick. He had a long, skinny rat tail, and looked as if he had been in a fire.

“He was the most hideous thing I had ever seen,” Jeanenne told the St. Petersburg Times, which ran an excellent story yesterday on the demise of Gus.

Recently, the cancer that took his leg returned, appearing in his spine and pressing into his abdomen. By September, he was too weak to walk. Jeaneanne, a certified public accountant, used his prize money, and her mortgage payment for October, to pay the $5,000 bill for chemotherapy.

Gus was buried in a tiny grave in the family’s backyard. Next to it, Jeaneanne planted a Butterfly bush with golden flowers.

“Something beautiful,” she said, “to grow out of all that ugly.”