Mr. Happy Face looks towards the camera before the start of the World’s Ugliest Dog Competition in Petaluma, California on June 24, 2022. Mr. Happy Face, a 17-year-old Chinese Crested, saved from a hoarder’s house, won the competition taking home the $1500 prize. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP)
PETALUMA, United States – With a tuft of punk-style hair and a tongue sticking perennially out the side of his mouth, a dog named Mr Happy Face has been crowned the world’s homeliest pooch.
This 17-year-old Chinese crested defeated nine competitors Friday in the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest, a decades-old event held annually in Petaluma, California.
The champ was adopted as a rescue last year by a 41-year-old Arizona musician, Jeneda Benally.
“During the pandemic, I had hoped to either have a baby or adopt a dog. Since having a baby would have been an act of God, I opted to adopt a dog,” Benally said as she introduced this one at the contest.
At the shelter she said she was told about an older dog with health problems, a creature that “could be inbred because he was so ugly.”
“The shelter staff tried to prepare me for what I was about to see. I saw a creature who was indeed old, needed a second chance and deserved to be loved,” said the proud owner.
She said Mr. Happy Face had previously lived with a person who hoarded and conditions were abominable. “He was a survivor of abuse and neglect,” she said.
Vets said that with his poor health the dog might only live a few weeks.