Linda Elmquist, proud owner of Scooter, the world’s ugliest dog of 2023, celebrates her Chinese crested’s victory and praises his resilience in overcoming physical challenges.

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Who is Linda Elmquist?

Linda Elmquist, a resident of Tucson, Arizona, has every reason to beam with pride as her beloved pet, Scooter, clinched the prestigious title of the world’s ugliest dog for the year 2023. The highly anticipated competition, held annually at the Sonoma-Marin fair in Petaluma, California, recognizes canines that have triumphed over adversity and embraces their unique imperfections, while promoting dog adoption.

Scooter, an endearing Chinese crested with unconventional features including sparse hair, a ratlike tail, and an ever-protruding tongue, has overcome tremendous obstacles in his tender seven years of existence. His life took an unexpected turn when a breeder brought him to an animal control facility in Tucson as a young pup, with the intention of having him euthanized due to his hind legs facing backward—a condition that suggested he might never walk.

However, fortune smiled upon Scooter when a compassionate rescuer decided to give him a fighting chance. Determined to find him a loving home and provide him with a shot at a relatively normal life, Scooter’s rescuer took him in. Through the aid of therapy and a specially designed cart, Scooter defied the odds, learning to walk and, more importantly, embracing life with an unwavering spirit. His biography proudly states that he remains blissfully unaware of his differences, considering himself just as capable as any other dog.

Expressing her immense joy and pride, Linda Elmquist, Scooter’s devoted owner, issued a statement saying, “I am overjoyed and incredibly proud that Scooter has been crowned the winner of the world’s ugliest dog contest. Despite the challenges he has faced with his deformed hind legs, Scooter has defied all odds and shown us the true meaning of resilience and determination.”

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Among the contenders vying for the title, including Prince, a chow chow mix with a wrinkled face and a floppy ear, and Wild Thang, a pekingese whose luxurious coat seemed to overpower its petite frame, Scooter’s unwavering determination captivated the judges’ hearts, securing him the highly coveted accolade.

The world’s ugliest dog contest traces its origins back to the 1970s when Ross Smith, a member of Petaluma’s Old Adobe Association, sought a means to raise funds. What began as an alternative to the pet parade quickly evolved into a unique event celebrating canines with unconventional beauty, in contrast to traditional dog shows that emphasize pedigree and skill.

Over the years, the competition has witnessed memorable victors, including Scamp the Tramp in 2019, a lovable mutt with bulging eyes and matted fur, Quasi Modo in 2015, a shepherd and pit bull mix with a hunchback caused by spinal birth defects, and Walle, a striking beagle, basset, boxer mix that one judge amusingly likened to a Photoshopped amalgamation of different dogs. Notably, Chinese cresteds have emerged as a dominant force, capturing the crown more than ten times since 2000.

As the world revels in Scooter’s triumph, the deserving champion not only won the hearts of the judges but also received the grand prize of $1,500 along with a well-deserved trophy.