Move over Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show!
This weekend, the 2022 winner of the "World’s Ugliest Dog" contest was revealed and he is a stunner.
Mr. Happy Face, a 17-year-old Chinese crested-Chihuahua mix, took home the top prize at the annual event held at Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds Event Center in Petaluma, California.
Despite its title, the contest is not meant to mock the fur babies.
“The old saying ‘Beauty is in the eye of the beholder’ is exemplified at the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, CA. The internationally observed event celebrates homely hounds and the humans who love them,” read a message on the event’s official website.
Mr. Happy Face’s owner, Janeda Banelly, expressed joy of having her pooch snatch the grand prize.
“I believe that this humble soul is also being an example, in subtle ways, to help humans realize that even old dogs need love and a family too,” Banelly told Today.
In 2021, Banelly adopted Mr. Happy Face from an animal shelter after the pup was rescued from the home of a hoarder. She was told Mr. Happy Face would only live for about a month as he suffered from tumors and multiple conditions.
“He hobbled up to me and chose me,” Banelly described the day they met. “I vowed that day, he would be so loved that he would never remember how awful his previous life had been. Love, kindness and mommy kisses have helped him defy the anticipated short life that we all expected him to have with our family.”
Mr. Happy Face beat out eight other dogs, all of which were rescued from shelters and puppy mills.