The ‘World’s Ugliest Dog’ Contest Winner Stops by TODAY: ‘Even Ugly is Beautiful’

    by Sidney Hunt
    Published: June 26, 2024 (3 weeks ago)

    In a heartwarming segment on the TODAY show, the winner of this year’s ‘World’s Ugliest Dog’ contest made a special appearance, capturing hearts and spreading a powerful message: “Even ugly is beautiful.” This year’s title went to Scooter, a Chinese Crested dog with a unique appearance and an even more extraordinary story.

    A Celebration of Uniqueness

    The ‘World’s Ugliest Dog’ contest, held annually in Petaluma, California, is more than a lighthearted competition; it is a celebration of the beauty found in imperfections and a platform to promote animal adoption. Scooter, who was crowned the winner, embodies the spirit of the event with his endearing personality and distinctive look.

    Scooter’s Journey

    Scooter’s journey to the title of ‘World’s Ugliest Dog’ began with adversity. Born with deformities in his hind legs, he was abandoned and left at a shelter. However, his life took a turn for the better when he was adopted by a loving family who saw beyond his physical appearance.

    In an interview on TODAY, Scooter’s owner, Sarah Thompson, shared his inspiring story. “When we first saw Scooter, we knew he was special. Despite his challenges, he has an incredible spirit and a zest for life. Winning this contest is not about making fun of his appearance; it’s about celebrating his uniqueness and showing that all animals deserve love,” Thompson said.

    Spreading the Message

    During his appearance on TODAY, Scooter charmed the hosts and audience alike. With his tuft of white fur, protruding tongue, and endearing personality, he made a strong case for the contest’s motto: “Even ugly is beautiful.” Thompson emphasized the importance of adopting pets with special needs, who are often overlooked in shelters.

    “Every animal deserves a chance to be loved, no matter how they look,” she said. “Scooter has brought so much joy into our lives, and we hope his story inspires others to open their hearts and homes to animals in need.”

    Reactions and Impact

    Scooter’s appearance on TODAY has garnered widespread attention, with viewers praising the show’s focus on pet adoption and the celebration of diversity in the animal world. Social media was abuzz with positive comments, with many users sharing their own stories of adopting pets with unique appearances.

    Twitter user @PetLover89 wrote, “Scooter is the cutest! So glad TODAY is highlighting the importance of adopting pets who need extra love. #EvenUglyIsBeautiful.”

    The Contest’s Legacy

    The ‘World’s Ugliest Dog’ contest has been running for over three decades, and its legacy continues to grow. Each year, the contest brings attention to the beauty of all dogs, regardless of their outward appearance, and encourages adoption from shelters. Many past winners have gone on to become ambassadors for special needs pets, advocating for their acceptance and love.

    Looking Ahead

    As Scooter and his family continue to spread their message of love and acceptance, they hope to inspire more people to consider adopting pets who might not fit the traditional mold of beauty. “Scooter is a reminder that every animal has value and deserves a chance to be loved,” Thompson said. “We hope his story changes the way people see ‘ugly’ animals and encourages more adoptions.”


    Scooter’s victory in the ‘World’s Ugliest Dog’ contest and his subsequent appearance on TODAY serve as a poignant reminder that beauty is more than skin deep. His story of resilience, love, and acceptance is a testament to the transformative power of compassion and the importance of looking beyond appearances. As the world celebrates Scooter, the message is clear: every creature, no matter how unconventional their looks, has something beautiful to offer.

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