Skip to main content

The World's Ugliest Dog Contest Has Named a Winner and He's Just Too Sweet

There is no contest quite like the World's Ugliest Dog Contest and thank goodness a winner has recently been named. After hours of deliberation, judges at the Petaluma, California contest named Mr. Happy, a Chinese crested-Chihuahua mix, as their best in show and now his owner, Janeda Banelly, is speaking out about his victory. 

Mr. Happy might not have the most typical face out out there, but when Banelly saw him at an Arizona shelter in August 2021 she knew she found her pup. "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,” she explained to TODAY. Mr. Happy had a whole host of medical conditions when Banelly brought him home and she was told that he would only have a month to live — but that didn't stop her. 

“He was the happiest creature that I had ever met,” she explained to the news outlet. “He hobbled up to me and chose me. I vowed that day, he would be so loved that he would never remember how awful his previous life had been.”

There were several contestants at the June 24 contest who'd also been adopted from rescue shelters and puppy mills, just like Mr. Happy. Including second place winner Wild Thang, Spirit Award winner Morita, and People's Choice Winner Liberace, the contest website states.

Scroll to Continue

Read More From Pethelpful

The contest is meant to raise awareness about pet adoption and rescue. And the title of "Ugliest Dog" is meant to exemplify many dogs who aren't given a chance because of their appearance. 

"Since the 70’s, the Contest has been a testament that all dogs do not have to meet AKC pedigree standards to be man’s (or woman’s) best friend," the website reads. "The owners of all kinds of dogs are also all kinds of people, from youngsters to senior citizens, each proud of their pet despite missing fur, crossed eyes, duck waddles or mismatched ears."

"The annual World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest is not about making fun of 'ugly' dogs, but having fun with some wonderful characters and showing the world that these dogs are really beautiful!" it continues. 

Sounds beautiful to us.

Related Articles