Worlds Ugliest Dog
Sam, a blind Chinese Crested dog, was voted the worlds ugliest dog three times in a row, from 2003 through 2005. He died in November 2005, causing an end to his three-year reign. With a long history, the contest was already very popular, but with the 3 consecutive wins (2003-2005) by Sam and his undeniable “ugliness” and unique characteristics the Worlds Ugliest Dog event has become more popular to the point where it is being covered on television and the Internet and has made owning an ugly dog cool.
Additionally, because most of the winners of Worlds Ugliest Dog Contest (last 7 in a row) are either purebred Chinese Crested or Chinese Crested mixed with Chihuahua, this breed has grown in interest and more people are looking for information on the breed and its origins.
Worlds Ugliest Dog Contest
Worlds Ugliest Dog Contest is an annual contest held in Petaluma, California, U.S., as part of the Sonoma-Marin Fair, to decide which of the dogs entered in the contest is the ugliest. Along with the title of “The Worlds Ugliest Dog,” the winner’s owner gets a USD $1,000, and both dog and owner receive significant publicity for winning the contest, appearing on talk shows and in newspapers around the world.
Animal Planet has sponsored the event and broadcast the show on television for several years. In the 2009 contest, the event included celebrity judges such as Doc Karen Halligan and Jon Provost (aka Timmy on the classic television show Lassie) as well as an Ugly is the New Beautiful Fashion Show featuring models and adoptable rescue dogs. Dog owners must provide documentation of veternarian checks to determine the competing animal is healthy. The Sonoma-Marin Fair has also partnered with animal rights groups such as the Sonoma County Humane Society to educate the public about animals and to provide opportunities to adopt rescue dogs. The fair issues a photo of the winner, press release summing up the contest, and YouTube video within hours of the contest conclusion. These can be viewed at www.sonoma-marinfair.org. Contestants for each new year are featured on the website pre-contest as well in the Worlds Ugliest Dog Voting Gallery.