'Mr. Happy Face' Crowned World's Ugliest Dog

The annual contest promotes adoption of all dogs, regardless of appearance
By Mike L. Ford,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 27, 2022 5:51 PM CDT
'World's Ugliest Dog' Is Loaded With Inner Beauty
Jeneda Benally of Flagstaff, Ariz. poses for a photo with her dog Mr. Happy Face, the winner of the 2022 World's Ugliest Dog competition, Friday, June 24, 2022, in Petaluma, Calif.   (AP Photo/D. Ross Cameron)

(Newser) – When she adopted him in August 2021, Janeda Banelly was told that Mr. Happy Face only had a month to live after being rescued from wretched conditions in a hoarder's house. The hairless Chinese crested chihuahua mix suffered from tumors and other serious problems and would require lifelong medication. Nevertheless, Banelly told NBC Today: "He was the happiest creature that I had ever met. 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." Nearly a year later, Mr. Happy Face is alive and relatively well, and he has been chosen as the "World's Ugliest Dog." Calling it an honor, Banelly held out the "humble soul" as an example "to help humans realize that even old dogs need love and a family."

According to the New York Times, Mr. Happy Face was selected from a competitive field that included a dog that resembled a "hyena or mandrill baboon" and one with a "gorilla-looking head." In addition to the tumors and neurological issues, the 17-year-old Mr. Happy Face also "requires a diaper, struggles to stand upright or walk, and holds his head askew." His mohawk is natural, and he sounds "like a Dodge Ram diesel" when he is happy, according to his online biography on the event website. One of the five contest judges said they didn't even bother debating who should win: "Mr. Happy Face deserved to be champion" after overcoming so many obstacles. Per How Stuff Works, the annual competition "is meant to promote the rescue of dogs regardless of their appearance," though this year's was the first after a two-year pandemic break. (Read more world's ugliest dog stories.)

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