Held at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, The World's Ugliest Dog contest was founded with the aim of promoting rescue dogs and raising awareness of animal welfare. Never before in its 24-year history has a contestant from outside America been brave enough to enter the competition, until now. In 2012, Mugly, Britain’s Ugliest Dog, crossed the Atlantic with a mission to win best in show against stiff competition from 28 other hounds.
Mutt Ugly follows Mugly’s progress, from his preparations in the UK, his first flight and his arrival in the USA, through to his interaction with fellow contestants, his exploits at the contest itself, and the media stormthat follow him and his owner, Bev. When Mugly and Bev arrive at the annual competition, its scale becomes clear as they face a motley pack of uncomely canines and an audience of hundreds of eager spectators.
Mugly’s opponents include the 2002 winner Rascal, star of no less than four horror movies; hot favourite Icky, a two-year-old Chinese Crested; and previous winner Princess Abby, with her signature hunched walk, missing eye and mismatched ears. But Mugly is not giving in to this competition without a serious fight.
Ahead of judgement day, our cameras visit the previous winners and their owners, meet this year’s favourites and consult a host of experts to find out what it’s like being a not-so-pretty pooch, as well as the possible effects that both the competition and superstardom could have on man’s best but not most beautiful friend.