Meet the New Winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest (You’ll Never Guess His Name)

It would seem there’s a contest for everything these days, including dogs. But we’re not going to discuss the snooty Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show which crowns a canine winner annually at New York City’s Madison Square Garden. No, today, we’re going to introduce you to the new winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest.

His name is Mr. Happy Face and he was paraded around Petaluma, California, last week after judges awarded the hairless Chinese crested-Chihuahua mix with the illustrious title. Once upon a time, he was rescued from a hoarder’s house and taken to an Arizona animal shelter. Now-owner Janeda Banelly adopted him from there in August 2021.

“I believe that this humble soul is also being an example, in subtle ways, to help humans realize that even old dogs need love and a family too,” Banelly told TODAY.

Mr. Happy Face has a complicated health history. He was deemed by the shelter as an “old dog” who would need to be on medication for life due to tumors and other medical conditions that may have been the result of inbreeding. (Some pedigree!) And yet, Banelly could see a kindred spirit in her furbaby’s eyes.

“He was the happiest creature that I had ever met,” she told TODAY. “He hobbled up to me and chose me. I vowed that day, he would be so loved that he would never remember how awful his previous life had been.”

The competition, which has been around since the ‘70s, aims to “celebrate the imperfections that make all dogs special and unique” and serves as “a testament that all dogs do not have to meet AKC pedigree standards to be man’s (or woman’s) best friend,” according to a press release.

If someone could love a face like that, maybe there’s hope for the rest of us unattractive humans, too.

Cover Photo: YouTube