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World’s most ugly dog found

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The annual World’s Ugliest Dog contest in California has named its 2024 winner: an eight-year-old Pekingese named Wild Thang. This marks Wild Thang’s first victory after competing in the contest for five years.

Wild Thang, from Oregon, had a tough start to life. As a puppy, he contracted canine distemper, a disease that affected the growth of his teeth and caused a muscle disorder in one of his legs.

The 2024 contest was held at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California, with eight dogs competing for the title. A panel of judges decided the winner, while the public voted for the People’s Choice Award, which went to a 14-year-old pug named Rome.

Wild Thang’s owner, Ann Lewis, received $5,000 (NZD $8,172) and an appearance on the Today show as prizes. The World’s Ugliest Dog competition has been running for over 50 years, starting as a fundraising event.

Today, the contest promotes the adoption of rescue dogs, with many of the competitors coming from shelters. The organization’s website says the event celebrates the unique imperfections that make all dogs special.

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