Zsa Zsa, an English bulldog, was named the winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog contest in Petaluma, California, on Saturday, June 23.
The 9-year-old beat out 13 other dogs to win the “honor” at the Sonoma-Marin Fair, snagging a $1,500 prize and a massive trophy — and “delivering a shower of slobber as she claimed this year’s title,” according to a press release announcing her win.
Zsa Zsa’s competitors included a blind, hairless Chinese crested mix, a dreadlocked terrier, a Pekingese named Wild Thang and a formerly overweight pup with sagging skin.
Rather than poke fun at the dogs, the competition celebrates canines in all their shapes and sizes, many of whom, like this year’s winner, come from shelters or puppy mills.
Named after the late Hungarian actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, the dog spent five years in a puppy mill in Missouri before she was put up for auction and bought by a group called Underdog Rescue.
The bulldog, whose tongue hangs out of the side of her mouth and almost touches the ground, was adopted by Megan Brainard, told CNN that “from the moment we saw her beautiful face, we knew we would be her forever home.”
Brainard drove 30 hours with her family from Anoka, Minnesota, to enter her dog in the competition. The pup was attended to by a glam squad, who painted her nails pink for the event and was elegantly dressed in a matching sparkly collar by an unnamed designer.
Zsa Zsa’s doting owner told The New York Times that it was the pooch’s personality that scored her the trophy.
“She was eating part of a Slim Jim on the table and just sneezed all over them and was drooling on them,” she explained.
“We are so excited for this,” Brainard told CNN of the new canine superstar (she’s set to fly to NYC to appear on the Today show). “She deserves this.”