Sixteen unseemly pooches vied for the surprisingly coveted title of World’s Ugliest Dog at the Sonoma-Marin Fair contest Friday.
Judges, including TV personality Bob Lacey and broadcaster Sheri Lynch, crowned 17-year-old SweePee Rambo — with a tiny blonde mohawk, claw-like legs and one eye twice as large as the other — the winner.
Hundreds of people at the competition cheered on the blind Chinese Crested Chihuahua mix, as his owner, Jason Wurtz, burst into tears and shook a homemade sign that read “SweePee Rambo for President 2016,” according to the Press Democrat.
This was SweePee and Wurtz’s third run at the $1,500 prize, and it finally paid off. The pair, originally from Encino, made the seven-hour trek to the competition in a van teeming with fans and relatives. The award money will go towards removing a tumor from SweePee’s gums, the Press Democrat reported.
Second place came with a $200 prize, which was given to Josie, a pup whose nails were painted bright blue. Rue, a small, dark canine that resembled a pig more than a dog, placed third and earned $150.
The competition was established in the 1970s, and having been around for 28 years, now attracts over 2,000 people each year. According to the Sonoma-Marin Fair’s website, dogs are judged on their first impression, unusual attributes, natural ugliness, personality and audience impression.
Last year’s champion Quasi Modo, a hunchbacked German Shepherd, won because he “epitomized excellence in ugliness,” according to Chief Judge Brian Sobel. Quasi Modo participated in press events in New York and San Francisco and even appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
SweePee’s popularity with the public will determine if he, too, will get a media tour.