Winner of 2010 World's Ugliest Dog ® Contest: Rescue Dog from Lake County, California

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Before a packed crowd Friday, June 25th, a chihuahua who had been roaming the streets of Clear Lake just months before became the new reigning champion and the World's Ugliest Dog ®. Both adoptive owner Kathleen Francis and dog were overwhelmed by the attention. Francis took home $1,600 plus another $1,000 and a year round modeling contract from House Of Dog. Princess Abby is a Chihuahua with a hunched and peculiar walk due to that her back legs are longer than her front. She also has a missing eye. She won over the celebrity judges and crowd with her crowd-pleasing ability to dance on her two hind feet for treats and her sweet personality. The World's Ugliest Dog® Contest continues to raise awareness for rescue dogs and now spaying and neutering pets. (See release.) Many of the dogs in this year's contest were rescue dogs.

She's my best friend. Abby's done more for me that I've done for her

California resident Kathleen Francis took home $1,600 Friday night after her dog Princess Abby won the 2010 World’s Ugliest Dog ® Contest before a packed crowd at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma. Princess Abby is a Chihuahua with a hunched and peculiar walk due to that her back legs are longer than her front. She also has a missing eye, and an audience-pleasing ability to dance on her two hind feet for treats.

Francis said that Princess Abby was rescued off the streets of Clear Lake by the Humane Society five months ago. When the Humane Society found her she was malnourished and flea-infested. When Francis spotted her, she promptly adopted her.

“She’s my best friend. Abby’s done more for me that I’ve done for her,” said Francis who recently fell on hard times and works at a local department store for minimum wage.

Princess Abby won the Pedigree Class from a large field of 14 dogs before going up against the winner of the mutt division, a Terrie mix known as Chopper--a dog that comic and contest emcee Jon Reep said was “so hairy if he was dropped in the gulf, he’d absorb all the oil himself.” She then went on to beat the former year winners Pabst from 2009, a boxer with a compelling underbite and Rascal from 2002 who now appears in horror movies.

Karen “Doc” Halligan provided vet checks for all of the contestants before the event. After Princess Abby’s win, she said, “Princess Abby is the poster child for spaying and neutering your animals. Her looks probably stem from being inbred.”

The contest had three celebrity judges: Television celebrity and vet Halligan, HawthoRNe television star Christina Moore, Vertical Horizon lead singer Matt Scannell in addition to Reep who emceed. Reep has appeared on numerous comedy shows and was the winner of Last Comic Standing: Season 5. The contest went an extra thirty minutes but the crowd of 3,000 plus stayed rooted to the spot until a winner was declared. The contest sponsor was House Of Dog who provided the winner with another check for $1,000 and a year round modeling contract. The Sonoma-Marin Fair has been conducting this contest for 22 years and in the last four years has received international attention for it. The World’s Ugliest Dog ® Contest was trademarked Fall of 2009.

Past World’s Ugliest Dog ® Winners have gone on to raise money and awareness for rescue animals.

The World’s Ugliest Dog ® Contest also included a Dog-Lover’s Festival and an Ugly is the New Beautiful Fashion Show in which models walk adoptable dogs from the Sonoma Humane Society. Also in attendance were the local animal shelter and Canine Companions for Independence.

NOTE: More photos of the contest are available for viewing by the public and use by the media at the Sonoma-Marin Fair Facebook site as well as http://www.worldsugliestdogcontest.org. To use these photos in media, please use the following credit: Grace Chon/Shine Pet Photos and link to http://www.worldsugliestdogcontest.org.
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VICKI DEARMON
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