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Friday, June 21st at 6:00 pm – the World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest

For nearly 50 years, the World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest has been a testament that the pedigree does not define the pet. 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.

The day begins with pre-contest entertainment and information on pet care and adoption. Each pup and handler will bask in the limelight as they show off their unique beauty to the judges, media, host, and fans. It’s a wonderful show of pageantry and pride.

And while fun and entertaining, the contest speaks to the importance of advocating for the adoration of all animals and the benefits of adopting. Many of the contestant dogs have been rescued from shelters and puppy mills, to find loving homes in the hands of those willing to adopt. Please join us in raising awareness and support for the pets yet to be placed in a loving home.

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.

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!


Gadi Schwartz – NBC News Correspondent

Gadi Schwartz is an NBC News Correspondent, co-host of Stay Tuned, NBC News’ daily news show on Snapchat’s Discover platform, as well as the anchor ofStay Tuned NOW, a new daily primetime program on NBC News NOW. Schwartz also hosted the limited series The Overview on Peacock.

Over the course of his career, Schwartz has received multiple industry awards, including five regional Emmy Awards and two Los Angeles Golden Mikes.



Linda Witong Abrahm

Linda Witong Abrahm is a distinguished and accomplished professional, bringing to the table a wealth of experience and a commitment to justice, human rights, and the protection of women and girls. With a career spanning over three decades, Linda has proven herself as a tenacious, creative, and ethical advocacy specialist. Her dedication to enforcing the law with objectivity and fairness is evident in her role as a retired prosecutor, where she litigated hundreds of criminal cases and served as the Felony Expediter from 1991-2011. Linda continues to make a lasting impact through her volunteer services, including her role as the creator and coordinator of the CATCH Team, investigating unresolved homicide cases in Marin County.



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.

In the public sector, Sobel is a former planning commissioner and vice-mayor of Petaluma, California. He is also past chairman of the Sonoma County Transportation Authority and a former member of several other non-governmental and governmental boards and commissions including the Golden Gate Bridge, Highway and Transportation District Board of Directors, where he chaired the Finance-Auditing and Transportation Committees of the Board. In his capacity as a public official, Sobel testified before governmental entities including a United States Senate committee, where he outlined the key role of local government in decision-making by the federal government. Additionally, the Governor of California twice appointed Sobel to the Board of Directors of the 4th District Agricultural Association, where he served as a member of the board for nine years including one term as president of the board.

Additionally, Sobel served a three-year term as president of the Board of Directors of Northbay Family Homes; a non-profit development company based in Marin County, California, and was a corporate officer and trustee of the Cedars Foundation of Ross. Sobel is also past-president of the Board of Directors of the Petaluma Area Chamber of Commerce and served for seven years as the Chairman of the Board of Directors for the Bank of Marin, headquartered in Novato, California, where he remains on the Board of Directors. Along with Sobel’s extensive private sector experience, for over eight years he was a part owner of a minor league baseball team that won three league championships.

Sobel has received a variety of awards in connection with his writing, training, and video work.



Amy Gutierrez

Amy Gutierrez, or Amy G, grew up in Petaluma. She loved sports from a young age, playing softball, basketball, and volleyball during her school years. After studying rhetoric and communications at the University of California, Davis, she pursued her dream of becoming a journalist.

Her career started in Washington, D.C., before moving to Los Angeles to work in TV production. She got her break when she filled in for a colleague and appeared on-air. Returning to the Bay Area, she became known as the sideline reporter for NBC Sports Bay Area, focusing on the San Francisco Giants. She also writes for G-Mag and hosts her own webcast, “Amy G’s Giants Xclusive.” Amy’s storytelling focuses on the human side of sports, and she collaborates with other journalists to refine her work before sharing it with her audience.







Fiona Ma

Fiona Ma is California’s 34th State Treasurer. She was elected on November 6, 2018 with more votes (7,825,587) than any other candidate for treasurer in the state’s history. She is the first woman of color and the first woman Certified Public Accountant (CPA) elected to the position.

One committee Treasurer Ma chairs, the California Alternative Energy and Advanced Transportation Financing Authority (CAEATFA), helps clean and green our state. It awards sales tax exclusions for manufacturers that reduce pollution, while retaining jobs, including to companies that make electric vehicles, turn farm waste into energy, and produce jet fuel out of renewable sources.

Most recently before being elected Treasurer, she was an elected member of the California Board of Equalization from 2015 until January 2019 and worked to protect the rights of taxpayers while ensuring California collected its fair share of tax revenues. Her district covered 23 counties in California and included approximately 9.5 million people. Upon being selected Chairperson of the Board of Equalization in 2016, she ordered three external audits of the agency and helped lead the biggest reforms for accountability and efficiency in that agency’s history. (READ MORE HERE)

2024 World's Ugliest Dog (First Place)

Wild Thang

Wild Thang is an 8 year old  Pekingese, who is no stranger to the ugly dog contest.  This will be his fifth time as a contestant.  He was born and raised in Los Angeles and recently retired to North Bend, Oregon.

Wild Thang contracted distemper as a puppy from a rescue foster.  Sadly, after thousands of dollars later, the other puppy did not make it, but Wild Thang did, barely.  He survived, but not without permanent damage.  His teeth did not grow in, causing his tongue to stay out and his right front leg paddles 24/7.  Other than that, he is a healthy, happy Glugly (glamourous/ugly) guy.

He loves people, other dogs and especially his toys.  His purpose in life is to promote the necessity of getting your pets vaccinated.

Wild Thang has an Instagram account (Wildthangofficial) which allows him to keep in touch with all his friends, as well as he has posted a gofundme account to help get his fellow Pekingese, in the war zone in the Ukraine, to safety.  To date, 7 Pekingese have safely made it out of the Ukraine and are now living happily in their adoptive homes in Canada and the US.

Second Place & People's Choice Winner


Meet Rome, a 14-year-old Pug hailing from the cozy confines of The Pug Hotel in Rohnert Park, California. Rome was brought to The Pug Hotel by his wonderful paw­ rent who was dealt some difficult circumstances and was unable to provide the level of care that she felt he deserved. Now Rome is living out his senior years amongst a happy grumble of other senior pugs at The Pug Hotel Senior Sanctuary, where he is a fan favorite due to his sweet personality and happy feet!

Rome is a sweet old man in a tiny pug body. He has serious FOMO – he refuses to close his eyes if he thinks he might miss a fun experience – and, despite his bowed legs, he loves to tippy tap dance with his feet to express his joy for life!

This year marks Rome’s debut in the World’s Ugliest Dog contest, following in the steps of his Pug Hotel sibling, Jinny Lu.

Beyond the spotlight, Rome’s heart is as big as his presence, as he contributes to the community as a member of the 2023 Wheeling Pug Relay team, which raises money to purchase wheelchairs for differently-abled dogs.

Additionally, Rome spreads cheer by visiting hospice patients and educating children about the importance of adopting senior rescue pets, exemplifying the boundless love and positivity he brings to the world.

Third Place

Daisy Mae

Meet Daisy Mae, 14-ish years old, the reigning queen of unconventional beauty in Lafayette, CA! Daisy boasts a face that only a mother could love, and even her own mom had to do a double take when they first met… But don’t let her unconventional looks fool you-this pup’s got a heart of pure gold.

When Daisy isn’t busy soaking up the sun or engaging in some intense squirrel-chasing, you can find her indulging in her favorite pastime: snuggles. Oh, and let’s not forget about her beloved hobby of annoying her older (more traditionally attractive) sister, Harriet. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it!

Daisy’s journey to stardom hasn’t been all squirrel-chasing and glamour. Rescued from the mean streets at the tender age of 2, she faced some rough times. Rumor has it she was once in cahoots with a cat gang! But thanks to her forever home, she’s transformed into the best version of herself. What she has lost over the years in hair, teeth, and vision, she has gained in friends, confidence, and so much spunk.

If Daisy were to snag the crown at the Ugliest Dog Contest (which, let’s be honest, she deserves), she’d use her newfound fame to shine a spotlight on rescue pups everywhere. Because every dog deserves the chance to blossom into their best, ugliest selves, right?


Meet Mochi, an adorable nine-month-old Chihuahua/Jack Russell Terrier mix from Lafayette, California. It’s Mochi’s first time entering into competition, and the excitement is palpable! Life, according to Mochi, is an exhilarating journey, filled with the joy of meeting friends, frolicking with cat siblings, and dashing through the grass.

Mochi shines brightest at puppy social class, where their effervescent personality helps shy newcomers come out of their shells, and makes everyone feel comfortable enough to release their inner race car. Running, to Mochi, is not just a pastime but a passion, with the grass serving as the ultimate racetrack.

Mochi’s mommy and daddy can attest to Mochi’s ability to bring immense joy into their lives with their endearing antics. Having experienced the loss of their childhood dogs, Mochi’s unexpected appearance on social media proved to be a serendipitous moment. Initially intended as a foster, Mochi swiftly won over their hearts, securing a permanent place in their home.

Nowadays, Mochi can be found lounging in the catio, perched atop the couch, or indulging in their newfound ability to stealthily sample bites from unsuspecting dinner plates during TV time. Their mischievous yet lovable demeanor never fails to elicit smiles from all who encounter them, making every day an adventure in the delightful world of Mochi.


Poppy, a Chinese Crested/Gremlin mix, introduces herself as the runt of her litter, boasting a unique appearance as the only one of her littermates to be born with no hair. Apparently, this helps her to be a great swimmer because she’s hydrodynamic. Plus, this gives her great tan lines in the summer.

Born five years ago on a farm in Tbilisi, Georgia, Poppy was brought to the United States by another family. However, due to her one eye’s impaired vision, they worried about her care, leading Poppy’s current mom to step in.

Now residing in Marin County with her loving family, Poppy thrives despite her distinctive look, thanks to the support of her mom and sister. With favorite hobbies like stick-finding, burrowing, and cuddling, showcasing her latest fashion choices, and singing along with her family in nightly howls, Poppy embraces her chupacabra-chic appearance, drawing inspiration from Andy Warhol’s hair and sporting a beard that would make Martin Van Buren blush.

As a first time contender in the World’s Most Unassuming Cuddliest Monster Contest, Poppy balances her playful antics with a more serious role as a psychiatric service dog, providing comfort and support to her mom and others. Despite initial inquiries about her unconventional appearance, Poppy charms everyone she meets, demonstrating that beauty transcends physical attributes. She may be a tiny hairless mutant with a wonky eye that wears diapers, but Poppy eagerly shares her affection with anyone willing to accept it, albeit with a playful warning: don’t feed her after midnight!


Ozzie is a sweet & happy 10-year-old terrier mix with a helicopter tail that never stops wagging!  He has a hitch in his giddy-up, which probably happened during his life at a Mexico landfill being chased by seagulls & turned his hair prematurely gray.  He started out as a foster dog and went with his caregiver on visits to the senior center, where he charmed everyone; some of the seniors thought he looked like a bat instead of a dog. Ozzie also helps take care of foster kittens, giving them baths and letting them play in his hair, which gives him “bed head.”.  Ozzie would love to erase those landfill memories by representing all those dogs like him who don’t win beauty contests by winning the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest because he is Uniquely A-dorable!


Meet Tiny Twiggy, a first-time contestant with the biggest heart. This 14 or 15-year-old Chihuahua mix is all about cuddles, attention, rocking her sweaters, and enjoying leisurely walks around Sonoma, California.

Twiggy’s story started when she was found wandering the streets of Napa one spring. Luckily, she ended up at Pets Lifeline in Sonoma, where they took one look at her and knew she needed their help. When she arrived, she was super skinny, almost bald, and had really bad eye problems. But thanks to the awesome foster parents and a talented eye doctor, Twiggy’s eyes are getting better every day.

Her foster parents fell head over heels for her when they met her at the shelter. They knew she needed a loving home, so they stepped up to foster her. And let’s be real, they might just end up keeping her forever because they love her so much. In the meantime, they’re giving her all the love and care she needs. Twiggy’s putting on weight, her fur’s growing back, and she’s one happy pup.

Freddie Mercury

This is Freddie Mercury, better known as Fred. Fred is a 14-year-old Brussels-Griffon/Pug mix named for his “Excess of Tooth.” This is his debut in the ‘World’s Ugliest Dog Contest”.

Fred started his life somewhere in the mean streets of Solano County and was adopted on May 5th, 2012, at Solano County Animal Care in Fairfield, CA.

Fred was given to his current human, Dan, by Dan’s favorite aunt after having suffered a broken heart. It was Aunt Stella who busted him out of the joint, but it was everyone in Dan’s life that would reap the benefits. With this dog was promised unconditional love… and Freddie has never failed in that regard. He has always been a good boy from the start!

Fred went to live with Dan, in Sacramento at the time, and they have been inseparable ever since. Ten years ago, in 2014, Fred and Dan moved to Sonoma County. First to Santa Rosa and then to Petaluma.

Fred began by helping Dan but since then has touched the lives of many. For the past 4 years, Freddie has been spending his days as Mascot for Petaluma’s local ice cream truck. He’s riding shotgun in the sun passing out smiles and greeting all the families of this town every day. With a face like a fork-lift and a bad case of cherry-eye that needs cleaning every day, many people have asked that he compete in this contest.

Fred goes to little league games, he goes to softball and youth soccer games. Fred helps to bring in crowds at school fundraisers and is often specifically requested for birthday parties. Everybody wants to see Fred and there are very few days where he is left at home. He’s a true working dog!

Fred is a rescue and not trained in any way as a service dog but his ongoing contribution to the community is apparent to anyone that comes in contact with him. Show some love for the locals, vote Freddie Mercury for “World’s Ugliest Dog”!

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