Meet Scooter, the Chinese crested canine: 'World's Ugliest Dog' crowned in Petaluma

Sunday, June 25, 2023
'World's Ugliest Dog' Scooter crowned in Petaluma
Meet Scooter, the Chinese Crested canine who was crowned "World's Ugliest Dog" in Petaluma on Friday.

PETALUMA, Calif. -- Some are born ugly, others achieve ugliness, and some have ugliness thrust upon them. In the case of Scooter, crowned the World's Ugliest Dog Friday, it appears to have been the former, along with his "uniqueness and charm" that won over the judges at the annual contest.

The competition, held in Petaluma as part of the Sonoma-Marin Fair, promotes dog adoption and showcases extraordinary canines that have defied adversity - in the case of Scooter, who has deformed hind legs, a narrow escape from being euthanized.

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And of course, there's the seven-year-old Chinese Crested's, er, lack of aesthetic appeal, what with his lolling tongue, sparse hair and ratlike tail.

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Despite it all, the dog has not only survived but prevailed, winning the hearts of the judges and the top prize of $1500 and a trophy.

"I am overjoyed and incredibly proud that Scooter has been crowned the winner of the World's Ugliest Dog contest," said Scooter's owner, Linda Elmquist, in a statement. "Despite the challenges he has faced with his deformed hind legs, Scooter has defied all odds and shown us the true meaning of resilience and determination."

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Shortly after he was born, Scooter's breeder brought him to an animal control facility in Tucson, Arizona with the intention of having him euthanized, contest organizers said. But Scooter lived to tell (or at least wag) the tail, and is able to walk with the help of a cart.

"This unique event allows us to celebrate the extraordinary resilience and beauty found within these special dogs. Each contestant has a remarkable story to tell, and they serve as a testament to the power of love, compassion, and the indomitable spirit of these incredible animals," said Tawny Tesconi, CEO of the Sonoma-Marin Fair.