PETALUMA (BCN) — “Peanut,” a shelter rescue dog of unknown heritage, was named the new World’s Ugliest Dog at the Sonoma-Marin Fair this evening, according to a spokeswoman.
Peanut was in an animal shelter for nine months before he found a home, according to information posted by his owner online before the contest.
“While his face has scared away many, it has melted my heart,” his owner said.
“Don’t let his teeth scare you! He isn’t growling. He is smiling, because of his hardships as a puppy,” his owner said.
Peanut also won the “mutts” category, according to fair marketing director Karen Spencer. A Chihuahua Chinese name Sweepea won the pedigree category.
A total of 29 dogs vied for this year’s top prize of $1,500 and a 4-foot trophy, Spencer said.
Dog owners have traveled from North Carolina, Georgia and Florida to compete.
The winners are chosen by judges at the fair. A popular online vote held before the competition is just for fun, because the results can too easily be skewed, Spencer said.
One of the criteria the judges consider is the pooch’s personality.
The judges were Brian Sobel, a member of the fair board, San Francisco Giants’ in-game television reporter Amy Gutierrez, and television and film celebrity Cameron Mathison of Good Morning America and Dancing With the Stars.
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