Tongues sagging and hair standing on end, 29 “beauty challenged” dogs marched down the red carpet Friday at the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma.
The event, held each June during the Sonoma-Marin Fair, raises awareness about the dangers of inbreeding and promotes animal adoption.
This year’s winner was Walle, a beagle-bassett mix with a huge head, a hump back and duck waddle.
"This dog looked like he's been Photoshopped with pieces from various dogs and maybe a few other animals," said judge Brian Sobel.
Walle was acquired by owner Tammie Barbee, of Chico, when he was just three months old.
“People come up to me and say that dog is not right, but I love him,” she said.
Last year's winner was a Chinese crested named Mugly, an 8-year-old rescue dog from Britain, who had droopy whiskers, beady eyes and dark, crinkled skin. The year before a pint-sized Chinese Crested named Yoda, who weighed less than 2 pounds, stole the show.
The contest began in 1970 and was incorporated into the Sonoma-Marin Fair in 1988. Since then it has spawned a documentary, a book and attracts visitors and media from all over the world.
Walle walked off with a $1,500 prize, a trophy and will be flown for appearances on the Today Show and the Jimmy Kimmel Show.