Mr Happy Face: who is the World’s Ugliest Dog 2022, what breed is he, and is he uglier than 2014 winner Peanut?

The pooch was adopted from an animal shelter in Arizona

Mr Happy Face has won first place in the annual ‘World’s Ugliest Dog Competition’.

But who is the pooch and what did his owner say about him?

Mr Happy Face has won first place in the annual ‘World’s Ugliest Dog Competition’ (Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

Here’s what you need to know.

Who is Mr Happy Face?

Mr. Happy Face, whose contest bio does not specify his breed but is believed to be a Chinese crested-chihuahua mix, wasn’t expected to live long after his adoption.

He was adopted by Janeda Banelly from an animal shelter in Arizona, who gave her a warning before she saw Mr. Happy Face.

Ms Banelly said in a statement that she was warned the pooch could be inbred “because he was so ugly” and “the shelter staff tried to prepare me for what I was about to see”.

But Ms Banelly went ahead with the adoption of the then-17-year-old dog in August 2021, saying he “needed a second chance and deserved to be loved.”

“When I first met him, he was the happiest creature that I had ever met. He hobbled up to me and chose me,” she added.

“I vowed that day, he would be so loved that he would never remember how awful his previous life had been.”

According to his owner, Mr Happy Face’s hobbies include “being fearlessly adorable,” invoking his “elder privilege” over other pets in the household and “eating stinky things.”

What competition did Mr Happy Face win?

On Saturday (25 June), Mr Happy Face won first place in the annual ‘World’s Ugliest Dog’ competition, which is a pageant held at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California.

Mr Happy Face’s contest bio read: "I believe that this humble soul is also being an example, in subtle ways, to help humans realise that even old dogs need love and a family too."

The event returned this year after being cancelled two years in a row due to the Covid pandemic, with this year’s first runner-up being a puppy mill survivor named Wild Thang.

In 2014, Peanut, a rescue dog with unknown breed origins, was crowned the World’s Ugliest Dog.

The dog’s owner, Holly Chandler, said at the time that the then 2-year-old Peanut was a victim of animal abuse and was injured in a fire.

She planned to use the prize money to help pay for other pets’ veterinary bills and hoped Peanut’s win would bring attention to animal abuse.

Peanut won the competition in 2014 (Photo: Josh Edelson/AFP via Getty Images)

The prize for Mr Happy Face’s win this year was $1,500 (£1236.55) as well as a trip to New York to appear on NBC’s Today show.

Speaking to NBC, Ms Banelly said: "This is his first competition and so he is a little overwhelmed. He’s wondering whether there are any treats that are part of this!"