World's ugliest dog Scamp the Tramp comes from a family of winners

Scamp the Tramp rests after winning the World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif., ...
Scamp the Tramp rests after winning the World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif., Friday, June 21, 2019. Photo: Noah Berger

Scamp the Tramp is a dog of unknown breeding with beady eyes, no teeth and short stubby legs.

So what's not to love?

Judges at this year's Ugliest Dog Contest agreed and named Scamp a champ on Friday at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California.

Scamp, who was last year's runner-up, has black and gray hair that grows into dreadlocks down his back, an "extremely round body" and two-inch-long legs, his owner Yvonne Morones?said.

Those dubious distinctions won the pair a trophy taller than either of them and $1,500.

Scamp the Tramp is held by Darlene Wright after winning the World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif., on Friday, June 21, 2019.

Scamp the Tramp is held by Darlene Wright after winning the World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair. Photo: AP / NOAH BERGER

But Scamp is hardly content to rest on his looks. He is a hardworking dog as well.

His lengthy résumé includes being a social therapy dog and a reading dog for a first-grade class, as well as representing the Humane Society of Sonoma County in a kissing booth at events and greeting passengers at the Sonoma County Airport.

"He's pretty well known in these parts," Morones said.

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Morones, who also owns four Chihuahuas, said Scamp's name is an homage to her grandmother, who warned her as a child not to talk to the "hobos" and "tramps" on the streets.

The annual competition not only celebrates less-than-adorable dogs, but also seeks to raise awareness about dog rescues and adoption shelters.

Morones found Scamp on Petfinder in 2014.

"I ran across Scamp's photo, and it was just like Tinder for dogs," she said. "I swiped right and fell in love with that face."

Morones said that she adopted Scamp from a Los Angeles animal shelter and that he was found wandering the streets of Compton, California, licking Taco Bell wrappers.

"He rode home with me in the car, and all the way home he sat next to me," Morones said. The song "One Love" by Bob Marley came on the radio, and Morones said she looked over to Scamp, who with his dreadlocks, was bobbing his head.

Morones has a knack for picking unusual-looking dogs.

She had two previous winners in the Ugliest Dog Contest, her pets Nana and Munchkin. Nana was small, with wirelike gray hair around the face and down her chest. Munchkin was also small but round with wild hair that stuck out on top of her back.

"I think they have to be naturally just odd looking," Morones said about what it takes to win. "Usually the tongue is hanging out. They could be missing hair. Their parts could be kind of crooked."

"All of us mums think our dogs are beautiful," Morones added. "We really believe our dogs are beautiful. I looked at the competition and I go, 'That dog's going to win.' I've called the winner every year. I didn't think we had a chance at all."

The second-place winner Friday was a Pekingese named Wild Thang, who has distemper, a condition that affects musculature and the nervous system.

In third place and also the winner of the Spirit Award was Tostito, who has no teeth or lower jaw. Meatloaf, a bulldog mix, picked up the People's Choice Award.

Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog, was last year's winner.

Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog, was last year's winner. Photo: AP / JEFF CHIU

Last year, Zsa Zsa, a nine-year-old English bulldog, took home the top prize, beating out 13 other dogs.

Morones said she planned to return to next year's contest to support friends.

"I've never looked for a dog for this," she said. "They seem to find me. Who knows? There might be another dog in my future."

The New York Times