World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Gearing Up for Friday, June 26 in Petaluma










Petaluma, CA (PRWEB) June 21, 2009

This is the year the Chinese Cresteds may be unseated in their hold on the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest scheduled for Friday, June 26 at 6 p.m. at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma. A boxer, shepherd, Shar Pei, Chinese Pug, and a mutt or two are all vying for the title this year. The stakes are high with the purse for the winner doubled.

Of the 15 contestants, only four participated the previous year. The new breeds are largely local California dogs and include Mojo, the Shar Pei from Pleasanton; Pabst, the boxer from Citrus Heights; Winston, the shepherd mix from Santa Rosa; and Kaiya, the Chinese Pug, also from Santa Rosa. Returning contenders include Princess Chelsea from Fairfield, Reggie and Veronica, both from Phoenix. The only returning champion is Rascal, a 7-pound purebred Chinese Crested from Sunnyvale who won the title of the World’s Ugliest Dog in 2002. In the competition, whoever wins the runoff between the pedigree and mutt classes will go up against Rascal for the title.

Since winning his title, Rascal has gone on to become a movie star, appearing in a number of horror movies. Naturally and completely hairless except for his Mohawk and a little hair on his tail and feet, he sports dog warts and freckles and no teeth, which gives his face a crooked look. He has appeared on the NBC Tonight Show with Jay Leno, The View with Barbara Walters, and the Jane Pauley show.

In addition to the fame that comes with the title, the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest winner walks away with $ 1,000 from the Fair and a trophy. This year, House Of Dog, a manufacturer of sophisticated dog accessories favored by celebrities, is awarding a year long modeling contract to the winner, along with another $ 1,000. Additionally, the winner will receive a prize package of collars, leashes, bowls, toys and a carrier from House Of Dog and another prize from Animal Planet. The winner will also have a professional photo shoot the next day at the Sheraton Petaluma conducted by the Official World’s Ugliest Dog Event Photographer Grace Chon of Shine Pet Photos. Animal Planet will return for the third year to film the show for a Dogs 101 segment.

Celebrity Judge Karen “Doc” Halligan is committed to animal welfare and pet-owner education and will conduct the screening of contestants in a Vet Check at 4 p.m. Contestants this year must provide veterinarian releases documenting the health of their dogs. As Judge and Fair Board Member Brian Sobel says, “We are looking for dogs who are naturally ugly.” Dog owners may enter their dog up to the last hour before the contest, although walk-ups that day will pay a $ 20 fee (no charge before June 26).

The hoopla that surrounds the contest will kick off at 3 p.m. on Friday, June 26 with a number of special events. Fairgoers can participate in YouTube Video Shoots with contestant dogs, autograph sessions with celebrity judges, and consider adopting a “hard to adopt” dog at the TailWaggin’ brought by the Sonoma County Humane Society. During the contest itself, the fair will introduce the “Ugly is the New Beautiful Fashion Show” featuring rescue dogs escorted by models, both wearing the latest in dog fashion attire and accessories provided by House Of Dog.

Adding more fun, the contest has a new panel of celebrity judges this year including Halligan, known for her appearances on Animal Rescue 911, Dog Tales, Groomer Has It, and Dogs 101. Doc Halligan will autograph her book, Doc Halligan’s What Every Pet Owner Should Know: Prescriptions for Happy, Healthy Cats and Dogs. She will be joined by local celebrity Jon Provost, who played Timmy in Lassie. Provost will sign his book Timmy in the Well. The third judge position will be filled by Brian Sobel, Fair Board Member who as served as judge for the last several years. Autographing will take place from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m.

YouTube videos featuring fairgoers and the ugly dogs will be produced and aired on the fair’s website http://www.sonoma-marinfair.org and on its YouTube site http://www.youtube.com/sonomamarinfair.

For more information on the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest, the Ugly is the New Beautiful Fashion Show, and the celebrities who will be judging the 2009 contest, please visit http://www.sonoma-marinfair.org. The Sonoma-Marin Fair is now in its 21st year of producing the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest and has trademarked the World’s Ugliest Dog name and logo.

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