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The entries are in. The “ugliest” dogs from around the world have descended on Petaluma, California’s Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in hopes of taking the title of The World’s Ugliest Dog.
It may seem silly, even demeaning at first. But the organizers of the competition say it’s not about making fun of dogs that are a little less than perfect, but about having fun with some wonderful characters and showing the world that every dog is beautiful and every dog deserves a home.
For 25 years, the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest has been a testament that all dogs do not have to meet AKC pedigree standards to be man’s (or woman’s) best friend. The owners of all kinds of dogs are also all kinds of people, from youngsters to senior citizens, each proud of their pet despite missing fur, crossed eyes, duck waddles or mismatched ears. They proudly walk both pedigreed pooches and Heinz 57 mutts down the red carpet to the cheers and clapping of the crowd.
A good many of the contestant dogs have been rescued from shelters and puppy mills and the contest has done much to raise awareness for adoption of dogs, and that no matter their physical detractions, these animals are loving companions. And the dogs certainly seem to enjoy the adoration of the fans.
Just take a look at the sweet, if not slightly crooked, smiles on this year’s contestants and you’ll see… every dog is beautiful.