Associated Press and Herald Staff
PETALUMA, Calif. — It’s that time of year again when dogs with unusually large heads, hairless bodies and other oddities compete to be the World’s Ugliest Dog.
This year’s winner? A 2-year-old mutt named Peanut, whose wild white and brown hair, bulging eyes and protruding teeth belie his sweet, energetic personality.
Peanut’s owner, Holly Chandler of Greenville, North Carolina, says he was seriously burned as a puppy and she wants to use her pet to raise awareness about animal abuse.
She plans to use the $1,500 prize to pay for other animals’ veterinary bills.
The contest, held at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma, California, is in its 26 year.
The dogs are scored by a three-judge panel in several categories, including special or unusual attributes, personality and natural ugliness.
In an online poll that closed Thursday, the clear winner was Peanut, who had been in an animal shelter for nine months before going home.
According to his owner in the pooch’s online profile, “While his face has scared away many, it has melted my heart.”
Peanut took nearly 1,800 votes while trailing in second was Quasi Modo, with 671 votes.
Quasi Modo suffers from multiple birth defects to his spine, his owner said online, giving him a hunched profile. He had been abandoned at a shelter before finding a home.