These pooches sure aren’t pretty.
Dog owners are gearing up for Friday's 26th annual World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in California, where one unsightly dog will be crowned the winner.
This year, 20 dogs from across the country with disheveled fur, crossed eyes, mismatched ears or duck waddles will converge on Petaluma to compete in the pageant. The winner will get a $1,500 prize along with a trip to a doggy resort.
“The annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest is not about making fun of ugly dogs,” the organizers wrote in a press release, “but having fun with some wonderful characters and showing the world that these dogs are really beautiful.”
The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest is not your typical doggie pageant like, say, the Westminster Dog Show; dogs do not have to meet American Kennel Club (AKC) pedigree standards and must be "naturally ugly.”
Organizers of the contest said a large number of the contestants have been rescued from animal shelters across the country and live with loving owners who take pride in their ugly dogs.
“No matter their physical detractions, these animals are loving companions,” contest organizers said.
The 2013 winner was Walle, a mutt mix of beagle, basset and boxer, owned by Tammie Barbee of Chico, California. Organizers said Walle was “the crowd favorite with his huge head, humpback and duck waddle.”
For the 2014 contest, competition is steep. There are two dogs named Cupcake — Cupcake T and Cupcake L — one with a giant overbite and another with straggly, matted hair; Peanut, a rescue dog whose “face scared away many” at an animal hospital; Grovie, a Chinese pug with “some powerful gas;” and Faith, a Jack Russell Terrier with an autoimmune disease which took quite a toll on her appearance.
You can vote for your favorite contestant on the Sonoma-Marin Fair website, but it’s for fun only; official judges ultimately pick the winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest.
Below, meet the contestants (you can read their individual stories here) and let us know who your favorite is in the comment section below.