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Upstart Boxer Mutt with Underbite Steals Show
(Petaluma, CA) – As the crowd chanted “Pabst, Pabst,” the celebrity judges deliberated between the so-named boxer-mix shelter dog and Rascal, a former world champion Chinese Crested to determine who would be the 2009 World’s Ugliest Dog Champion tonight at the Sonoma-Marin Fair. First timer Miles Egstad from Citrus Heights, California was stunned at Pabst’s win. “ I don’t think he’s that ugly!” he said of his boxer mix whose under bite was his most compelling physical feature. His sweet personality made him an audience favorite. The Chinese Crested breed has dominated the contest for more than seven years and in this year’s contest represented more than 50% of the 2009 entries in the pedigree class. But Pabst, who was given his name because he had a “ bitter beer face”, according to his owner quickly won the crowd and the judges soon followed. Egstad, 25, first saw the contest on television and his friends urged him to enter his dog. Egstad won $1,600 from the Sonoma-Marin Fair for sweeping all three rounds ($100 for mutt class, $500 for runoff with the pedigree class winner, and $1,000 for World’s Ugliest Dog). This year sponsor House Of Dog upped the ante with another $1,000 in prize money, a table of “bling” that included collars, leashes, and bowls plus a year-round modeling contract that Pabst signed with his paw. Event Photographer Grace Chon included a professional photo shoot. Pabst was a rescue dog adopted by Egstad three years ago. It was the first time a “mutt” has won the contest in more than seven years. Halligan who is a vet, performed the screening for contestants to make sure all the animals were healthy. Contestants this year had to provide veterinarian releases documenting the health of their dogs. As Judge and Fair Board Member Brian Sobel says, “We were looking for dogs who were naturally ugly.” And Pabst was. The hoopla surrounding the contest included celebrity judges Karen “Doc” Halligan known for her television roles in Groomer Has It, Dog Tales, Animal Rescue 911 and Dogs 101. Dogs 101 shot the show for airing on the Animal Planet network this fall. Halligan was joined by Jon Provost known for playing the part of Timmy on Lassie. Brian Sobel, a Sonoma-Marin Fair board member, sat in the third judge’s seat. The local humane society was present with its adoption wagon. The fair also staged an Ugly is the New Beautiful Fashion Show with rescue dogs and models. The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest is in its 21st year and has been trademarked by the Sonoma-Marin Fair.

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