Some pretty repulsive pooches took the stage Friday night at the 26th annual World's Ugliest Dog competition.
The nearly 30 mangy mutts on display at the Petaluma's Sonoma-Marin Fair featured deformed spines, lolling tongues, crooked teeth and warts in all the wrong places.
But only one cursed canine was downright demonic enough to actually freak out the judges.
"Oh GOD!" gasped one.
"You've got to be kidding me!" exclaimed another.
The frightful sight was Peanut, a Chihuahua-Shih Tzu mix with a face like a gremlin after a botched plastic surgery.
With teeth protruding like a sea monster's, a tail one judge likened to a stick of lipstick, and eyelids that never close, Peanut is the stuff nightmares are made of.
"Peanut is one of the ugliest dogs we have ever judged in this contest," said judge Brian Sobel, who described him as "just hideous."
(See video of the event here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYxCO57u-vM)
Owned by 26-year-old Holly Chandler, a manufacturing engineer from Greenville, N.C., Peanut was rescued from a shelter a year ago after spending more than 9 months scaring off would-be adoptive families.
Peanut beat out some stiff competition to win the $1,500 prize, including a bulldog mix named Quasi Modo, a crowd favorite.
A spinal deformity left Quasi Modo looking like the dog missing his middle. Owner Virginia Sayre of Loxahatchee, Fla. said children have been known to scream and grown men jump on the hoods of cars when they walk past.
Quasi Modo received 671 votes in online judging, a far cry from Peanut's 1,795.
Sweetpee Rambo, a Chinese Crested-Chihuahua mix, was the first runner-up. He has freckled skin and a blond Mohawk, and when enthusiastic owner Jason Rambo held him aloft, he rear legs splayed out sideways like a bullfrog.
But he was no match for the ghoul from Greenville.
"Peanut is in a class by itself," Sobel said.
(You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or firstname.lastname@example.org. On Twitter @citybeater.)