Peanut, a 2-year-old mutt who is believed to be a Chihuahua-Shitzu mix, was crowned with the title of “World’s Ugliest Dog” at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petamula, California Friday. The contest has been held annually for 26 years.
Peanut is healthy now, but the wide-eyed dog with protruding teeth and wildly messy white and black fur — which disguise the sweet mutt’s disposition — was not always in such good condition, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Peanut was burned very badly as a puppy, leaving him with bald patches all over his small body.
His owner, Holly Chandler of North Carolina, says she hopes Peanut’s victory will help raise awareness about animal abuse, notes the Chronicle. “We’re trying to use him as a poster child for what can happen to animals who are abused,” she said. Chandler intends to put the $1,500 winnings toward other animals’ veterinary bills.
The three-judge panel scores the canine contestants across several categories, including personality, audience reaction, and natural ugliness.
Some of the other ugly doggy contestants can be found by clicking here.