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World's Ugliest Dog contestants uglier than ever

By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   June 20, 2013 at 10:57 AM   |   Comments

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June 20 (UPI) -- The annual World's Ugliest Dog contest is back and the dogs are uglier than ever.

The Sonoma-Marin fair in Petaluma, Calif., pits the twisted, grotesque and ultimately lovable pooches for the 25th year in a row, where tongues loll, eyes bulge and grooming is gloriously passe.

This year, the contestants are also taking part in an online poll, which won't ultimately count in the official contest. Instead, a panel of judges will award the coveted title on Friday.

The winning pooch takes home a $1,500 prize, a trophy, a photo session and VIP treatment for both dog and owner at the local Sheraton.

"More than half the contestants are brand-new, and a lot of the time the winner is a new dog,” Sonoma-Marin Fair spokeswoman Vicki DeArmon said. “This year there are more pugs than ever.”

DeArmon said she anticipates 25 to 30 contestants to walk the red carpet for the contest.

Last year's winner, Mugly (below), will be back to defend his title.

Click through the gallery above to see this year's contestants.

Follow @gabbilevy and @UPI on Twitter.
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