Dog competition

Discover the winner of the “The ugliest dog in the world” contest

There’s a new ugliest dog in the world!

On Friday, NBC’s Kerry Sanders served as a judge at the 2022 World’s Ugliest Dog contest in Petaluma, Calif., and helped crown a hairless Chinese Crested Chihuahua mix named Mr. Happy Face as the winner.

Mr. Happy Face owner Janeda Banelly said the title was an honor. In August 2021, she adopted the dog from an Arizona shelter after he was rescued from a hoarder’s home.

“I believe this humble soul is also an example, in a subtle way, to help humans realize that even old dogs need love and a family too,” Banelly said.

Mr. Happy Face and his owner, Janeda Banelly, at the “World’s Ugliest Dog” contest.

According to official site of the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds Event Center website, Banelly said he was told Mr. Happy Face would only have about a month to live because he was an “old dog” who needed medication to life.

He also suffered from tumors and multiple ailments and could have been inbred.

Banelly knew the challenges she would face if she brought Mr. Happy Face home. Still, she decided to love him to the best of her ability.

“He was the happiest creature I have ever met,” she said. “He approached me and chose me. I swore that day that he would be loved so much that he would never remember how horrible his previous life had been.

Sanders was one of five judges in the contest. He was able to get close to the mutts vying for the title, including a Pekingese named Wild Thang who reminded him of the fictional Tribble species in “Star Trek.”

“It’s a Tribble. Sometimes it’s just a problem,” laughed its owner.

In the show, the Tribbles were small, furry creatures that could reproduce at an alarming rate. Wild Thang certainly had the mane to match the fictional creature.

Wild Thang placed second in the "The ugliest dog in the world" competition.
Wild Thang placed second in the “World’s Ugliest Dog” contest.

Most of the dogs that entered the contest were rescued from shelters and puppy mills by loving parents.

While showing the importance of adoption, the pageant helps “celebrate the imperfections that make all dogs special and unique,” a press release read.

No matter if some animals have missing hair, crossed eyes or duck waddles, they can enter the contest to show their unique beauty.

“Since the 1970s, the contest has been a testament to the fact that not all dogs have to meet AKC pedigree standards to be a man’s (or woman’s) best friend,” the statement read.

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