July 11th update: Zsa Zsa, the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog, died two weeks after winning her crown. Her owner, Megan Brainard, shared the news on Zsa Zsa’s official Facebook page in a July 10th post, writing, “I’m sad to share that ZSA ZSA passed away in her sleep last night.” Zsa Zsa was nine years old.
On June 23rd, judges gathered in Petaluma, California for the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog contest. The dog show, which celebrates our unconventionally beautiful furry friends, declared an English Bulldog named Zsa Zsa the winner. And despite her new title, we can confirm that Zsa Zsa is absolutely adorable.
According to E! News, the winning bulldog was rescued in 2014 by Megan Brainard of Minnesota. Prior to her adoption, she spent five years in a puppy mill. Brainard named the pooch after the Hungarian actress Zsa Zsa Gabor, wanting to give her a glamorous name after her traumatic past.
With her tongue hanging almost to the ground, nine-year-old Zsa Zsa beat out 13 other dogs to claim her title. As champion, she joins the likes of Sweepee Rambo, a Chinese crested Chihuahua who took home the honor in 2016.
Brainard made sure Zsa Zsa looked competition-ready for her big day, giving her a pink manicure and a sparkly collar fit for a princess. But she told the New York Times that Zsa Zsa’s looks weren’t the only reason she won. The dog’s lovable personality also endeared her to the judges.
Zsa Zsa has already captured our hearts, too.
Just look at that face!
Despite the competition’s name, the World’s Ugliest Dog contest “celebrates the imperfections that make all dogs special and unique,” according to its website. Part of the show’s mission is to encourage viewers to adopt animals in need, and many of the contestants have been rescued from puppy mills or shelters.
As the winner of this year’s contest, Zsa Zsa received $1,500 in prize money and a matched donation to the Underdog Rescue, the shelter that helped her find her forever home with Brainard. She also got a giant trophy and made an appearance on the June 25th episode of the Today show.
We think all doggos are adorable, and we love that the World’s Ugliest Dog contest celebrates the pups who might normally get overlooked. Congratulations to Zsa Zsa and to all this year’s contestants!