Wild Thang wins the 2024 ‘World’s Ugliest Dog’ contest

A new pup has taken the crown for ugliest dog in the world.

Wild Thang won the 2024 World’s Ugliest Dog contest in Petaluma, California, on Friday.

Wild Thang, an 8-year-old Pekingese, has competed in the contest four previous times, placing second three times before finally winning first place this year.

The dog was born and raised in Los Angeles and recently retired to North Bend, Oregon.

Wild Thang right before his win.
Sumiko Moots / NBC News

According to his bio, Wild Thang contracted distemper as a puppy from a rescue foster.

“He survived, but not without permanent damage,” his bio says. “His teeth did not grow in, causing his tongue to stay out and his right front leg paddles 24/7.”

Apart from his physical issues, Wild Thang is “a healthy, happy Glugly (glamorous/ugly) guy,” his bio says.

He and his owner Ann Lewis took home a $5,000 check.

NBC News’ Gadi Schwartz helped judge the 2024 contest, along with Linda Witong Abrahm, Brian Sobel, Amy Gutierrez, Fiona Ma.

Last year, a hairless Chinese Crested pup named Scooter took home the title. Scooter was born with deformed back legs and his breeder turned him over to animal control for euthanasia. He was rescued by the Saving Animals From Euthanasia rescue group, which his owner is a member of, and now uses a cart to help him walk.

The contest has been going on for nearly 50 years, according to the website for the Sonoma-Marin Fair, where the event takes place. The annual competition focuses on celebrating the uniqueness of all dogs and the benefits of adopting.

“The annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest is not about making fun of ‘ugly’ dogs,” the website reads. “But having fun with some wonderful characters and showing the world that these dogs are really beautiful!”

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