Preview of World's Ugliest Dog ® Contestants Available Online: Record Number of Contestants to Compete

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Contestants in the World’s Ugliest Dog ® Contest are available for viewing online at the World’s Ugliest Dog ® Voting Gallery. This year's contest is set for Friday, June 25 at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma and this fun preliminary shows the competitiveness has already begun.

Even though the World's Ugliest Dog Online Voting Gallery is a fun warm-up to the actual contest, it's competitive.

The world loves ugly dogs and a cast of new characters and some old favorites are available for viewing online at the World’s Ugliest Dog ® Voting Gallery located at http://www.worldsugliestdogcontest.org. This is the official website of the World’s Ugliest Dog ® Contest scheduled for Friday, June 25, 2010 at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California. While the results of the online voting do not effect the outcome of the World’s Ugliest Dog ® Contest, the online gallery is a fun way to get acquainted with the dogs, many of whom are contestants.

So far, there’s Gizmo, Handsome Hector, Mojo, Elvis, Itty Bitty, Ripley, Possom, Icky, Eger, Grovie, Squiggy and others. Previous champions, Rascal from 2002, and the 2009 winner Pabst, are on the gallery as well. Visitors can vote for their favorite. Right now late entry Icky, a 6-month-old contender from Sacramento, California is dominating the boards, closely followed by Handsome Hector, another Californian.

Even though the online voting doesn’t directly affect the voting and offers no prizes, it is still competitive. The World’s Ugliest Dog ® Contest Online Voting Gallery has had a history of hackers tampering with votes which finally was prevented this year by contest organizers. In previous years, contestants’ votes would swell by the hundreds while the webmaster developed new defensive strategies. In 2006, the votes had to be reset to zero and started again midway through because of cheating.

Why the competitiveness? The winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog ® Contest is catapulted into the worldwide spotlight. In 2009, the announcement of Pabst as the winner was rated the top third in the world according to the Associated Press. As a result, contest organizers report entries in the World's Ugliest Dog ® Contest are up dramatically this year.

“With this kind of fame at stake, it can get competitive,” said contest organizer Vicki DeArmon. “It starts with the online voting gallery and by the time we get to the actual contest, it reaches a fevered pitch with people handing out placards and promotional t-shirts to the crowd.”

The World Champion also takes home $1,000 minimum in prize money along with a trophy and bragging rights and another $1,000 and a year modeling contract with House Of Dog, a manufacturer of upscale dog accessories. The World’s Ugliest Dog ® Contest is produced by the Sonoma-Marin Fair which runs June 23 through 27 in Petaluma, California. For updates on the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest and fair entertainment, visit http://www.sonoma-marinfair.org. The World’s Ugliest Dog ® Contest is trademarked by the Sonoma-Marin Fair.

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VICKI DEARMON
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