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2017 Contest Information

Friday, June 23, 2017
Kiwanis Stage, Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds

Pet Fest: 2: 00 – 8:00 PM

Contest: 6:00 PM

Entries submitted by May 15, 2017 will be FREE!
After May 15th, each entry will be $10 and is due when submitting your entry form, photo and biography.
All entries CLOSED – Wednesday, June 21st .

Contestant Hotline phone number is 707-867-6598

2016 Awards

Sweepee Rambo – 2016 World’s Ugliest Dog®

Second Place: Josie
Third Place: Rue
Spirit Award: Rooby Roux

2017 World's Ugliest Dog ® Contest
June 23rd


Free Entry Through May 15 for World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest

Entries are open for 2017

Walle may waddle when he walks, and sport a humped back, but he was the much-loved winner of the 2013 World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest

With faces that only a mother could love, homely hounds will vie for the title of World’s Ugliest Dog® on Friday, June 23, at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, CA. If you have a dog that is more beautiful on the inside than the outside, then this “beauty” contest is for you. The Contest includes a Red Carpet Walk and a Faux Paw Fashion Show featuring adoptable or previously adopted dogs.

The winner is awarded $1500, a trophy, and is flown to New York for media appearances. The Contest is sponsored by VIP Petcare, leading provider of preventative veterinary services. The Spirit Award, courtesy of Midway of Fun, is presented to a dog and owner who have overcome obstacles and/or are providing service to the community.

“We’re proud to celebrate all dogs and pets by showing that no matter their imperfections, they are adoptable, lovable and a great addition to any family.” explains Erin Post, CEO of the Sonoma-Marin Fair.

The annual Contest celebrates those dogs that may not earn a Best of Show, but are lovable and adoptable anyway. Notable past winners include Walle, a basset/boxer mix that waddled as he walked; Peanut, a tiny dog with a history of abuse; and Quasi Modo a short-spined mutt that was an audience favorite.

Preceding the Contest, the public is invited to Pet Fest where they will discover pet-related products and services. Applications for booth space are available at

Judges for 2017 include long-standing head judge Brian Sobel, and Today Show correspondent Kerry Sanders. The Contest is hosted by nationally syndicated morning radio hosts Bob & Sheri whose amusing banter with the judges keeps the crowd entertained.

Entries must be received in the Sonoma-Marin Fair office no later than 5:00 p.m. Wednesday June 21, 2017. The entry fee of $10 will be waived through May 15. Judging for the World’s Ugliest Dog® is based on appearance and personality. Entry applications are available at

Join us for the World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest and a celebration of “Great Eggspectations” during the 2017 Sonoma-Marin Fair from June 21-25, 2017. Enjoy 5 fun-filled days of FREE concerts, unlimited carnival rides, the World’s Ugliest Dog ® Contest, action-packed Pit Stop USA Sprint Car Racing, fun games & contests, delicious fair food, and more. For details, visit or call (707) 283-3247. Be the first to know about all of the fun by following us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Together we can make this summer the best one yet!

2017 Judging Team

Brian Sobel

Brian Sobel is the principal consultant for Sobel Communications of Petaluma, California.

Sobel has many years of experience in the private and public sectors.  Educated at San Francisco State University, majoring in Broadcast Communication Arts and Journalism, Sobel worked in radio and television and was News Director for two radio stations.  Before opening his consulting firm, Sobel spent several years working for a major corporation as a writer, training consultant and video producer….

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Paige Braddock

By day, Braddock is the Creative Director at Charles M. Schulz Creative Associates. She has illustrated several PEANUTS children’s books. The Snoopy U.S. postage stamp issued in April 2001 was designed by Braddock. In 2015, she began publishing her own line of graphic novels for children with Andrews McMeel Publishing titled, STINKY CECIL IN OPERATION POND RESCUE and STINKY CECIL IN TERRARIUM TERROR.

Paige Braddock’s long-running comic strip, JANE’S WORLD, was the first gay-themed work to receive online distribution by a national media syndicate in the U.S. Daily installments of JANE’S WORLD appear on GoComics. There are currently 11 volumes of the comic strip in print.

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Kerry Sanders

Kerry Sanders has been NBC’s Miami-based correspondent since 1996, covering news mainly in the South and throughout Latin America. Sanders contributes regularly to “NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams,” “Today,” MSNBC and occasionally to “Dateline NBC.”

Sanders covers breaking news and feature stories. He has more than 30 years experience providing in-the-field-reports during hurricanes. He was a member of the NBC Nightly News reporting team that was awarded a Peabody and the RTNDA Edward R. Murrow Award for coverage of Hurricane Katrina….

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About the World's Ugliest Dog® Contest

The old saying “Beauty is in the eye of the beholder” is exemplified at the World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, CA. The internationally observed event celebrates homely hounds and the humans who love them.

For 28 years, the Contest has been a testament that all dogs do not have to meet AKC pedigree standards to be man’s (or woman’s) best friend. The owners of all kinds of dogs are also all kinds of people, from youngsters to senior citizens, each proud of their pet despite missing fur, crossed eyes, duck waddles or mismatched ears. They proudly walk both pedigreed pooches and Heinz 57 mutts down the red carpet to the cheers and clapping of the crowd.

Prior to arriving for the contest, all the dogs must provide a veterinarian’s paperwork asserting that they are healthy.  The World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest follows up with a vet check on-site just prior to the contest.  Animal rescue and adoption groups are also on site with information showcasing adoptable pets.

A good many of the contestant dogs have been rescued from shelters and puppy mills and the contest has done much to raise awareness for adoption of dogs, and that no matter their physical detractions, these animals are loving companions.  And the dogs certainly seem to enjoy the adoration of the fans.

The annual World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest is not about making fun of “ugly” dogs, but having fun with some wonderful characters and showing the world that these dogs are really beautiful!  Entry forms for the Contest and the Petfest are available now, just click on the link to your left.  

VIP Petcare is dedicated to improving the lives of pets and the people who love them. This goal is accomplished by extending the availability of high value pet preventative and wellness veterinary services to all pet owners. Through our nationwide network of community clinics, VIP Petcare provides a wide variety of preventive pet care services, all administered by a state licensed veterinarian onsite at all of our clinics. These services and products include diagnostic tests, vaccinations, prescription medications, microchipping and a wellness check commensurate with the services administered. Our wellness services provide information about and/or protection against diseases and parasites such as rabies, parvovirus, feline leukemia virus, Lyme Disease, heartworm disease, and intestinal parasites. Our microchipping includes free nationwide registration, helping pet owners find lost pet family members and bring them safely home.

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