Wild Thang Wins World’s Ugliest Dog Title

Wild Thang wins the World’s Ugliest Dog contest. His unusual appearance is due to a severe case of distemper he contracted as a puppy.

Wild Thang
Wild Thang won the World’s ugliest dog title.

Ann Lewis describes her 8-year-old Pekingese from Coos Bay, Oregon, with the term “Glugly.”

“It’s a mix of glamour and ugly,” Lewis explained before she and her shaggy gray-black dog, Wild Thang, walked the red carpet and took the stage at the Sonoma-Marin Fair on Friday, hoping to win the World’s Ugliest Dog contest.

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Wild Thang wins World’s ugliest dog title

“This is our fifth year in the competition, this could be our year!” Lewis announced.

And indeed it was. Gadi Schwartz, NBC News correspondent, declared Wild Thang the World’s Ugliest Dog to a cheering crowd. Thang outshone seven other contestants to claim the title.

The panel of five judges—Schwartz; Linda Witong Abrahm, former Marin County deputy district attorney and human rights advocate; Brian Sobel, consultant at Sobel Communications; Amy Gutierrez, sideline reporter for NBC Sports Bay Area, and Fiona Ma, California’s state treasurer—were won over by Wild Thang’s unique charm.

“He looks like a Roomba!” Sobel remarked as the dog was presented to the judges.

Wild Thang’s unusual appearance is due to a severe case of distemper he contracted as a puppy. He barely survived the illness, which left him toothless, causing his tongue to hang out permanently. The virus also affected his right leg, which Lewis refers to as “wonky,” making it difficult for him to walk long distances.

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When not enjoying his new fame, Wild Thang and Lewis dedicate their time to raising funds for rescuing Pekingese dogs from war zones in Ukraine. So far, they have helped seven dogs relocate to the United States and Canada.

The World’s Ugliest Dog title comes with a $5,000 prize, a year’s supply of Mug Root Beer, and an all-expenses-paid trip to New York City to appear on the Today show on NBC on Monday morning.

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