Judged for their “natural ugliness in both pedigree and mutt classes,” Princess Abby, Handsome Hector, and Creature were not able to top the sheer unattractiveness of Mugly, with his short snout, beady eyes, and white whiskers.
Bev Nicholson, Mugly's owner who rescued him in the streets in the United Kingdom after the dog was abandoned by his family, told the Associated Press, "I couldn't speak when they announced Mugly's name."
"I didn't know which way to look," she said. "I was shaking as much as the dog."
Mugly’s ugliness has long been recognized. In 2005, he was awarded the title of Britain’s ugliest dog. His looks do not, however, prevent him from holding down a job as a therapy dog for children.
In addition to competing for international recognition, the British dog won a $1,000 prize and a year’s worth of dog cookies. He will also be invited for a photo shoot and a VIP stay at the local Sheraton.
Last year’s winner at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds, Yoda, was a Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix. Since the contest began in 2000, most of the winning dogs have been Chinese crested or Chinese crested and Chihuahua mixes.