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Scooter has been voted the “ugliest dog in the world”.

Scooter has been voted the “ugliest dog in the world”.

Straw-white hair on his head, the rest of his body is naked, the tongue hangs crookedly, the hind legs are completely bent – this four-legged friend is certainly not a beauty and this is exactly what helped him win. The Chinese crested dog named Scooter can now adorn himself with the title of “the ugliest dog in the world.” The seven-year-old won the World’s Ugliest Dog contest in Petaluma, California, on Friday night (local time).

He’s a “very nice boy,” enthusiastic dog owner Linda Elmquist from Tucson (US state of Arizona) in an interview with dpa before the big stage performance – and kissed Scooter’s wrinkled neck. Now she can look forward to a $1,500 prize and a trip to New York to present her hero on the NBC morning show.

Scooter was rescued from euthanasia as a puppy

Scooter was taken to an animal shelter by a breeder for euthanasia as a deformed puppy with hind legs, but was then adopted. Undeterred, he walks on two legs and pulls his hind body behind him. The scooter also moves forward with the help of a trolley. “It allows him to run farther and faster,” says Elmquist.

The Pekingese’s name Wild Thang came in second. The seven-year-old scored a boisterous hairdo with his tongue hanging out to the side. He is closely followed in third place by a 16-year-old Chihuahua named Harold Bartholomew. Mistress Sabrina Embledo adopted a street dog just a year ago. “He’s blind and deaf, all the hustle and bustle here doesn’t bother him at all,” he says from California.

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The competition has more than 40 years of history

Nine dogs took part in this year’s edition of the competition, which has been running since the 1970s, including the pug Jenny Lou from South Korea with a noticeably long tongue, and the one-eyed mixed breed Prince Hoffmann with slanting teeth and a hanging tongue.

Red carpets, awards, judges, and spectators applauding—the vote for “World’s Ugliest Dog” at the annual Petaluma County Fair, an hour’s drive north of San Francisco, has all the ingredients of a beauty pageant.

By the way, the character, appearance and reaction of the audience also play a role in the choice. Among the four judges this time around was NBC host Gadi Schwartz. As a newcomer to this contest, find out from the kids in the audience. “Accordingly, ugly is a person who looks like a foreigner when hair grows from his ears, his teeth are crooked, or his tongue is hanging out.”

These “ideals of beauty” have already been achieved by many of the world’s champion dogs. Last year, the nearly hairless Chinese Crested mix won Mr. Happy Face with his tongue hanging out. A Neapolitan Mastiff Martha once took the stage with long flap of skin and bloodshot eyes, a Pitbull German Shepherd Quasi Modo mix with a hunchbacked back, and a Chihuahua mix Yoda with short tufts of hair and a lopsided snout.

The endearing and sweet sides of dogs come into focus

Organizers say the intention is not to mock “ugly” dogs, but rather to highlight their lovable and beautiful sides. Many four-legged friends come from animal shelters or puppy farms. The campaign advocates for the adoption of abandoned animals.

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For dog owner Ann Lewis, who came with a Pekingese Wild Thang from neighboring Oregon, all participants are winners. “It’s just such an important message that good homes have been found for all dogs.”