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2018 Contest Information

Saturday, June 23, 2018
Kiwanis Stage, Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds
Pet Fest: 2: 00 – 8:00 PM
Contest: 6:00 PM
Press Contact:

Entries submitted by May 14, 2018 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 20.

World’s Ugliest Dog Press Kit

World’s Ugliest Dog Contest,
presented by Pawscout®,
The Smarter Pet Tag™

2017 Winners

Martha – 2017 World’s Ugliest Dog®
Owner: Shirley Zindler

Second Place: Moe – Miriam Tcheng
Third Place: Chase – Storm Shayler
Spirit Award: Precious – Catherine Kennedy

It is with heavy hearts that we share that Zsa Zsa, this year’s winner of the World’s Ugliest® Dog Contest passed away in her sleep earlier this week at the age of 9. She charmed us all with her slobbery good-looks and sweet demeanor. May she rest in peace.

Zsa Zsa Wins the 2018 World’s Ugliest® Dog Contest



Petaluma, CA – June 24, 2018
– The paparazzi was in full swing for the World’s Ugliest Dog contest as Zsa Zsa, a rescued English Bulldog from Anoka, Minnesota charmed her way into the judges hearts. Nine years young with a swaggering tongue, Zsa Zsa delivered a shower of slobber as she claimed this year’s title.

Zsa Zsa’s adopted parents, Megan and Jesse Brainard share, “she was a puppy mill dog for 5 years in Missouri sent to a dog auction and later purchased by Underdog Rescue. From the moment we saw her beautiful face, we knew we would be her forever home. We are so excited for her, she deserves this.”

NBC News correspondent and contest judge, Jo Ling Kent, said “it was a very difficult decision, we loved all of the dogs. It was a huge responsibility and we are just so happy for Zsa Zsa.”

Zsa Zsa and her loving family are being flown to New York for a live appearance on NBC’s Today Show scheduled to air Monday, June 25 during the 8 a.m. hour. Her prize included a very large trophy, $1500, and a donated prize match for Underdog Rescue.

The red carpet runners up included 2nd place winner Scamp, owned by Yvonne Morones, who also claimed the Spirit Award and third place winner Josie, owned by Linda Elmquist.

There were fourteen proud pups competing in this year’s World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest and all went home winners. Each contestant was given a gift basket and a personalized pet tag by Pawscout®, The Smarter Pet Tag™, the contest’s presenting sponsor.

“Celebrating the beauty within every pet and providing an innovative solution that helps all pets stay safe and in their forever home, the entire Pawscout team wants to congratulate Zsa Zsa, the winner of the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest,” states Aaron Lamstein, Executive Chairman of Pawscout and Co-Founder of Worldwise, Inc. “Zsa Zsa will now wear a personalized Pawscout Smart Pet Tag to help her pet-parents stay connected. It’s been an honor to partner with Sonoma-Marin Fair this weekend to promote adoption and to
celebrate Zsa Zsa, this year’s World’s Ugliest Dog.

View the contestants for the World's Ugliest Dog®

Peoples Choice Award

It’s all about the dogs as we embark on the 30th World’s Ugliest Dog® Contest for 2018. You can decide which one will win the Peoples Choice Award. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest news on who’s entered, what the judges think, and of course our winning announcement on Saturday.

Join us during the Sonoma-Marin Fair for a fun filled day with the pups, Saturday, June 23. This year’s competitors are as adorable as ever. Start off the day mingling with local organizations during the Pet Fest from 3 – 6 p.m. At 5:30 p.m. the entertainment begins with a pre-contest Pet Show.

This year’s pre-contest entertainment will be a dog show extravaganza.  We have four good-time gals –Dawn Justice, Julie Fisher, Maureen Lyons and Colleen Werner — and their canine pals — Tallulah Blockhead, Spur, Finn and Kiss — performing their version of silly tricks and having fun with their pups.   One of the human’s and two of the dogs are rescues, and when these four high octane, smarty pants pooches get together craziness ensues!  It may not be a perfect tricks show, but it is guaranteed to give you a giggle or two.

The main event commences at 6 p.m. as each dog and handler struts the red carpet for their chance at claiming the title of the World’s Ugliest Dog®.

You can contact us with questions via email at

About the Contest

For nearly 30 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 are escorted along the red carpet to show off their unique beauty to the judges, international media, celebrity 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.

About Pawscout, Inc.

Designed to replace the old-school metal tags that haven’t changed in 200 years, Pawscout® helps you find lost pets, record walks, and discover your neighborhood. The companion Pawscout App serves as a resource for pet parents everywhere, providing thousands of pet-friendly places to explore. With every download, Pawscout’s network gets stronger, making it that much easier to give pets their happiest, healthiest, and safest lives. Pawscout is available at over 5,000 retail locations across the United States and Canada, including Pet Valu, Pet Supermarket, Kroger, Publix, Stop & Shop, and select independent pet stores, Pet Supplies Plus, Global Pet Foods, Canadian Tire, and Walmart Canada stores, among others.

2018 Emcee & Judging Team

Brent Farris

Program director for KZST ( and its sister country station KTRY, and consultant to jazz station KJZY, Farris has a free hand. “What I do is a talk show, and when I don’t have something important, interesting or fun to say, I shut up and play a record,” he said.

The son of a Navy commander, Farris grew up living all over the world, which he says accounts for his wide range of interests. After getting a degree in communications from the College of Marin, Farris worked as a newspaper photographer for the Marin Independent Journal, also freelancing for People and Us magazines.

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….

Debbie Abrams

Debbie Abrams hosts the Midday Show from 9-2 on KZST, plus produces the #1 rated Morning Show with Brent Farris.  A 20 year veteran of radio, she is often seen emceeing local events and fundraisers throughout Sonoma County.  Debbie is married to “Banker Boy”, also known as Britt Cooper, and has two daughters.  They reside in Windsor.

Jo Ling Kent

Jo Ling Kent is a correspondent at NBC News covering business, technology and general news for the TODAY show, NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt, and MSNBC. Previously, she covered the global technology sector, China and politics at Fox Business Network and hosted the podcast “Fast Forward with JLK.”

Prior to FBN, Jo was an investigative reporter for NBC Connecticut in Hartford, where she was a member of the team awarded a Peabody for coverage of the Newtown school shooting. Jo reported on the 2012 presidential campaign as an embedded political reporter with NBC News.

Jo lived and worked in China for five years — first as a Fulbright Scholar, associate producer at CNN’s Beijing bureau and web reporter for ABC News. A graduate of the London School of Economics (LSE) and Peking University, Jo holds two master’s degrees in international affairs, in addition to a BA from Rice University.

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