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Scooter, a Chinese Crested dog, was crowned the ugliest dog in the world at the 2023 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest on Friday, June 23.
And the 7-year-old Chinese Crested dog took home a giant trophy and $1500 for winning the competition.
The 2023 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest was held in Petaluma, California this year. The contest, which began in the 1970s, “has been a testament that the pedigree does not define the pet”. It promotes dog adoption and celebrates the imperfections that makes a pooch special and unique.
In Scooter’s case, it was his reversed hind legs, almost hairless appearance, a rat-like tail and a tongue that won’t stay in his mouth that allowed him to win not only the contest trophy but also the hearts of the judges.
Gadi Schwartz, one of the competition’s judges, told TODAY.com, “From the second he sits his hairless little booty and backward legs on your lap, you feel his warm, huggable power to change the meaning of the word ugly.”
Another judge, Catherine Liang, told The New York Times: “In the cutest way possible, he kind of reminds me of a hairy hippopotamus.”
As a pup, Scooter was brought to animal control in Tucson to be put down for being born with reversed hind legs.
But according to Scooter’s contest entry biography, a rescuer from Saving Animals From Euthanasia (SAFE) took him in to give him “a chance at finding a good home and a fairly normal life.”
His biography also says that Scooter is able to walk with the help of therapy and a specialized cart and “has no idea that he is any different from any other dog”.
“His handicap has not stopped him from a life of locomotion on his two front legs,” his biography reads.
Scooter was adopted by Linda Elmquist from Tucson, Arizona seven months ago from a man in the same rescue group mentioned above.
Elmquist said that she is overjoyed and incredibly proud of her pooch for winning the title.
“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,” Elmquist told The Guardian.
Last year, a 17-year-old Chinese Crested dog named Mr. Happy Face was crowned the World’s Ugliest Dog.