Calling all unsightly (but no less lovable) pups: The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest is once again open for submissions.
The competition has shone a spotlight on dogs with unique appearances for nearly 50 years.
On their website, the competition says that their goal is to celebrate “the imperfections that make all dogs special and unique.”
“The annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest is not about making fun of ‘ugly’ dogs, but having fun with some wonderful characters and showing the world that these dogs are really beautiful!” the contest’s site says.
This year’s light-hearted competition will take place on June 23 at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in California.
Interested applicants need to submit an entry form, short biography, photo, and proof of vaccination for their homely pooch before June 21.
While canine competitions typically separate the dogs by breed or category, the World’s Ugliest Dog Competition groups all competitors in “one large class,” according to the application.
The winning beauty will score a prize of $1,500 as well as a trophy declaring them the “World’s Ugliest Dog.” The second-place dog will win $1,000 and the third-place winner will take home $500.
Doggy competitors will also be eligible for the “Spirit Award,” which honors “a dog and owner who have overcome obstacles and/or are providing service to the community based on the dog’s biography” and the “People’s Choice Award,” which will be chosen by an online vote.
The competition also emphasizes the importance of “advocating for the adoration of all animals and the benefits of adopting,” particularly rescue and mixed-breed dogs.
Last year, Mr. Happy Face, an almost-hairless 17-year old rescue pup with a protruding tongue, took home the big prize. The lucky winner was rescued from a hoarding situation and adopted from a shelter in Arizona in 2021.
In his online bio, his owner wrote, “I believe that this humble soul is also being an example, in subtle ways, to help humans realize that even old dogs need love and a family too.”