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The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest | An Inspirational Story

World’s Ugliest Dog 2022 Story

Every year many pet parents go to Petaluma, California to attend the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest. This annual event is held in the month of June at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds. Their objective is to seek a dog with a little too many wrinkles, or a funny nose. Large numbers of pet parents enter their odd-looking pups with the same motive as the organizers; to increase the love for all pets irrespective of their physical short-comings.

The organizers and the event center CEO Tawny Tesconi said in a news release, “While the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest is a celebration of the imperfections that make our dogs lovable, a good many of them are rescues from shelters and puppy mills, so we use the fun and notoriety of this competition to raise awareness for dog adoption.” Their aim is to spread love and make these dogs feel loved in the community, despite their physical contortions. They want these dogs to be treated like family and get deserving homes.

World’s Ugliest Dog

Many dog participants that enter into the contest are rescued, or adopted from shelters or puppy mills. Throughout the years, many dogs have participated and won the title of ‘The World’s Ugliest Dog’. Winners receive a trophy and a price of $1500. This contest also includes of Spirit Award, which is given to the most inspiring story and a People’s Choice Award which is chosen by the public.

In 2022, a 17-year-old Chinese crested Chihuahua mix- Mr. Happy Face was the winner of the contest. Jeneda Benally adopted My Happy Face and nearly a year after winning the title, Mr. Happy Face is now a certified celebrity. They regularly travel and make public appearances on television shows and come up on social media, and in famous publications. 

Mr. Happy Face is a rescue with a tilted head, a prolonged tongue, wrinkled skin, and a white mohawk. He was adopted from the shelter, where he was coined as the most unadoptable pup; his dog parent Jeneda thought they did not have a chance of winning because he was too beautiful. Mr. Happy Face needs a lot of extra attention because he suffers from tumors and neurological issues. He is also a survivor of psychological neglect and hoarding, so when Jeneda first adopted him he was extremely scared of human touch and had an estimated time of six months to live. Despite every obstacles, Jeneda and Mr. Happy Face lived life with hope, love and comfort. It took him three months to let Jeneda touch his face and now after ten months, he has become stronger than ever! 

The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest 2023

This year, the competition is going to be held on Friday, June 23. Applications for this contest are live and those willing to participate must register as soon as possible and file an application with the following details:

Click on the link mentioned below to send in your entries now:


A Message

Jeneda supports the contest’s mission to promote adoption because she believes that Mr Happy Face, being the ‘ugliest’ dog in the world still manages to bring a smile to people’s faces. This brings out the beauty of all the dogs. The contest organizers and hundreds of pet lovers that enter the competition and gather to watch it believe that all the ‘imperfections’ make their dogs perfect, special and unique. It conveys that pedigree does not define your pet, but loving and having fun with wonderful souls does. 

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