Meet the latest winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog contest, a 17-year-old Chinese crested-chihuahua mix aptly named Mr Happy Face.
The unique-looking rescue dog was crowned the annual title at the 2022 World’s Ugliest Dog content in Petaluma, California, on Friday.
His owner Janeda Banelly couldn’t be prouder to walk away with the honorary title, plus £1,200 and a trip to New York City to appear on the Today Show.
Mr Happy Face was adopted from an Arizona shelter in August 2021, after being rescued from an abusive hoarder’s house.
In a note that she submitted during the contest, Janeda explained that Mr Happy Face was much older than other rescue dogs and could be inbred because “he was so ugly”.
Despite the warnings, Janeda “saw a creature who was indeed old, needed a second chance and deserved to be loved”.
Mr Happy Face came with many health concerns and the veterinarian predicted that may not live longer than a month, due to tumours and other conditions.
Still, Janeda recalled him being the “happiest creature that I had ever met” and promised to help him defy his anticipated short life.
” He hobbled up to me and chose me. I vowed that day, he would be so loved that he would never remember how awful his previous life had been,” she said.
When Mr Happy Face isn’t winning awards, he’s sleeping, snoring, cuddling with his mum and eating stinky things.
He makes “odd sounds when he is happy” and opposes sharing a bed, climbing the stairs and wearing nappies.
“I believe that this humble soul is also being an example, in subtle ways, to help humans realize that even old dogs need love and a family too,” Janeda said.
Following his award, Janeda told Today that it was an “honour” to win the title and beat runner-up Pekingese Wild Thang.
The annual competition often features dogs adopted from shelters or rescued from puppy mills and “celebrates the imperfections that make all dogs special and unique”.
The previous title of 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog was awarded to Scamp the Tramp, a dog of unspecified breed found as a stray on the streets of Compton.