A New Jersey canine that was crowned the world’s ugliest dog in 2007 and later became the topic of a children’s book preaching acceptance has died. Elwood was 8.
His owner, Karen Quigley, says the Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix died unexpectedly Thanksgiving morning. The Sewell resident said Elwood had been dealing with some heath issues in recent months but appeared to be doing well.
The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest has been running for 13 years, making its debut on television in 2000 as part of the Sonoma-Marin Fair. The winner’s owner receives a check for $1,000, and with the contest’s popularity, abundant media coverage and deals are offered to those owner’s with the World’s Ugliest Dog. Much like Karen Quigley, many of the title holders used their new found stardom to back causes such as animal abuse prevention, animal rescue operations, and animal adoption centers.
Animal Planet signed onto the contest, sponsoring the event and broadcasting the show on television. Judges sometimes include celebrities like Jon Provost (he played “Timmy” on the 1950′s television show Lassie).
Heartbroken as any pet owner would be, Karen Quigley said in a statement Saturday “He made people smile, he made them laugh and feel good. It was wonderful… He will truly be missed.”
2007′s World’s Ugliest Dog Elwood died at 8 years old Thanksgiving morning.