Ladies and gentlemen, you are free to exhale: We have a winner in the World's Ugliest Dog competition. A rescue mutt named Peanut was awarded the top prize Saturday at the 26th annual Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California.
While the victorious pooch's full backstory remains somewhat fuzzy, the two-year-old is likely a chihuahua-shih tzu mix who was abused by a previous owner before being adopted by Holly Chandler from North Carolina. Chandler was awarded $1,500 in prize money, which she intends to use to raise awareness for animal abuse.
"He's my baby. I guess I don't see him every day as being that ugly. But I guess the judges thought so," Chandler told CBS's local affiliate KPIX News.
Winning an ugliest dog competition might not strike one as much of an achievement, but Peanut had plenty of competition. Twenty-nine other hideous canines were vying for the prize. Each was judged on several criteria like "unusual attributes," "personality," and "natural ugliness."
In the end, however, Peanut prevailed.
"Peanut is one of the ugliest dogs we have ever judged in this contest," said judge Brian Sobel after announcing the winner.