He may never win a beauty contest, but Scamp the Tramp’s drooped eyes, bobbing head and tongue sticking out just earned him the top honors at the 31st annual World’s Ugliest Dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California Friday.
The contest is in no way aimed to make fun of the puppers, but organizers claim it is their way to help more dogs get adopted from pet shelters.
“What we’re really doing is we’re showcasing dogs that have been rescued and adopted and brought into loving homes,” publicist Christy Gentry said. “These are sort of spokesdogs for adoption.”
Before Scamp became a volunteer to visit schoolchildren and local elderly homes, he was a stray dog from Compton.
“It was on the way home that I knew I made the right choice,” his owner Yvonee Morones from Santa Rosa, California, told local media about the time she rescued Scamp back in 2014. “There we were, two strangers in a car on the way home to a new start. Bob Marley was playing ‘One Love’ and I looked over a little Scamp was bobbing his head. It was like he knew he had found his forever home.”
Scamp was a runner-up of the contest last year, but he finally nabbed the crown this time.
With the win, he and his owner received $1,500 in cash, another $1,500 to donate to an animal shelter of their choice, a trophy the size of a Rottweiler, and an appearance on the ‘Today’ show.
“He’s Scamp the Champ, no longer Scamp the Tramp,” Morones told the Santa Rosa Press-Democrat after their victory. “I think the audience saw his beautiful spirit and everything he’s given back to the community.”
Pekingese, called ‘Wild Thang’, won second place thanks to his beady eyes and a disturbing tongue, along with his owner Ann Lewis of Los Angeles.
Meanwhile, a Chihuahua with a damaged ear and droopy tongue named Tostito, won third place and the Spirit Award. He is owned by Molly Horgan from Falmouth, Maine.
Meatload, a bulldog mix that has a protruding teeth owned by Denae Pruner of Sacramento, California, won this year’s People’s Choice Award.