On June 23, the World's Ugliest Dog Competition crowned its 27th winner, Zsa Zsa the nine-year-old English bulldog. With her loose hanging tongue and matching mouth full of slobber, Zsa Zsa wowed the crowd at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, CA, and walked home with the gold despite the fierce competition from dozens of pups who proved you don't have to be traditionally handsome to steal our hearts.
Despite some funky haircuts, none of the other pups were a match for Zsa Zsa, whose owner attributes the win to the eye-catching doggo's quirky personality. “She was eating part of a Slim Jim on the table and just sneezed all over them and was drooling on them,” Zsa Zsa's owner Meghan Brainard told the New York Times. We don't blame them. Who wouldn't be convinced by this droopy, adorable face?
Many have taken to the internet to dispute Zsa Zsa's "ugliness", but the competition's seemingly harsh name is actually a bit misleading. Most of the dogs who come to participate in the annual World's Ugliest Dog Competition are originally from puppy mills and animal shelters. The competition itself is used as a measure to promote pet adoption and rescue, and celebrate the new, beautiful lives these pups have been given. Last year's winner was a Neopolitan mastiff named Martha, who was rescued by the Dogwood Animal Rescue Project after nearly going blind from neglect.
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)
And because of the competition, Zsa Zsa's story is one of the many heartwarming rescue stories now making waves in the community. According to the Sonoma-Marin Fair website, Zsa Zsa was put up for auction after being held in a puppy mill in Missouri for five years where she was used for breeding. She was then purchased at the auction by Underdog Rescue, a pet adoption and fostering organization. Shortly after, she was adopted by Brainard, who found Zsa Zsa on Petfinder. According to Zsa Zsa's official competition entry, "Her mother saw her beautiful picture on Petfinder and had to have her!"
Like us, you might be wondering how Zsa Zsa got her name. Brainard told the Times that she named her after the very glamorous Zsa Zsa Gabor. Brainard clearly felt that the Hollywood actress and her saggy-faced pup have a lot in common. Despite what anyone thinks about Zsa Zsa, Brainard lovingly admits, "She is just so ugly, she’s beautiful.”