A new dog has been crowned the World’s Ugliest. SweePee Rambo, a 17-year-old Chinese Crested/Chihuaha mix from Van Nuys, California, took home the honor this month. SweePee Rambo earned the honor because she’s blind, toothless and has akimbo legs, however, despite her problems, she’s fiercely loved. Her owner, Jason Wurtz, modifies newborn diapers to accomodate her incontinence issues, and even has her ride with him a backpack at work when he fixes telephone communication lines. She won, he says, “because of her baby-soft freckled skin and legendary blond Mohawk”. He calls her a “ride or die chick.”
The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest is held annually in Petaluma, California at the Sonoma-Marin Fair each June. Winners receive a check for $1,000, a trophy and bragging rights as the world’s ugliest pooch. The first contest began in 1970, and has continued each year. Entrants come from all over the United States, and sometimes, the world. Mutts and purebreds are encouraged to participate, and the event also helps draw awareness of adoptable dogs, thanks to a partnership with local animal organizations.
The competition shows that even “ugly” dogs need love, and many of the contestants have been rescue dogs. While the event speaks to ugliness, organizers point out that “beauty is in the eye of the beholder,” and that the dogs love receiving so much attention. It must be true, because the event has been going strong for 50 years. A Fashion Faux Paw show, red carpet walk, and meet & greet are a few of the activities available at the show, and the event gets plenty of media coverage as well. This year, nationally-syndicated radio show hosts Bob and Sheri were the hosts of the World’s Ugliest Dog competition, while Brian Sobel, Survivor contestant Neal Gottlieb and Good Morning America’s Indra Petersons served as judges.
To participate, dogs must be verified as healthy by a vet, both with papers and a checku. Shortly after news of SweePee Rambo’s win, a minor controversy erupted when reports came out that she was found to have “oozing sores.” The controversy was cleared up when reports said that a reporter had mistaken SweePee Rambo for a similar dog, Icky, who had acne.
SweePee Rambo has competed two times previously in the contest, and placed second last year. Contestants are rewarded points based on audience reaction, dog personality, and appearance. SweePee Rambo had instant fans at the event, and it was no surprise she won.
She beat out 16 other contestants, including the afore-mentioned Icky, and Himisaboo, a dog loved by the crowd because of his Trump-inspired hairstyle. Second Place went to Josie, Third Place to Rue, and the Spirit Award to Rooby Roux. You can see plenty of pictures of SweePee Rambo at her owner’s Instagram @sweepeerambo. Dog owners who may want to enter their own pooch – purebred or mutt – into the contest can check the official event website for updates.