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.
"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.
"His hobbies include sleeping, snoring, woofing in his sleep and making odd sounds when he is happy."
Contest organizers say this of the contest itself: "Dogs of all breeds and sizes have warmed our hearts and filled our lives with unconditional love. This world-renowned event celebrates the imperfections that make all dogs special and unique."