While most pet parents believe that they have the cutest dog in the world, you might be surprised that there are some who compete for the World's Ugliest Dog.

The NY Times reports that on June 21st, the 31st annual World's Ugliest Dog contest was held at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California. This year the first place was awarded to Scamp the Tramp, a dog with petite legs, dreadlocks, and absolutely no teeth. Scamp was last year's runner up, but he returned this year to dominate the competition.

Coming in at second place was Wild Thang, a Pekingese who has distemper, a condition described by the AMVA as, "a disease caused by a virus that attacks the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems of puppies and dogs." In 3rd place was Tostito, a chihuahua who was also bestowed with the Spirit Award.

Some may be curious to know what exactly the judges are looking for in this competition, and it's actually quite simple. Publicist Christy Gentry explains that "Judges are looking for special attributes like hanging tongues, slobber, drool (the more the better). Maybe unusual patches of skin or hair."

While the contest is light-hearted, the message behind it is much more sincere.  The Sonoma-Marin Fair states, "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."

Always remember to spay and neuter your pets, and adopt don't shop! Who knows, maybe you'll find the next winner of the World's Ugliest Dog contest.

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