(USA TODAY) -- These dogs are, well, dogs - sporting scraggly (or no) fur, lopsidedfaces and gremlin grins. Icky looks two going on 200. Squiggy has Yodaears, half his teeth and a tongue that refuses to stay stuck in hismouth. Gromit has a potbelly and a permanent underbite. Other names defyany need for description: Creature, Mugly, Rascal, Ratdog.
Meet some of the 27 canine contestants vying for the title of World's Ugliest Dog, being held today for the 25th year at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California.
Beforeyou think organizers are barking mad to put these pitiful pooches on apedestal, understand that this is a most serious competition, socutthroat that online voting, which doesn't actually count towardanointing the top (under)dog, is nonetheless watched over at NSA-likelevels. Seems this dog-no-pony show is catnip for horseplay.
"Attimes hacking and illegal voting have occurred. We are monitoring thisdaily and delete suspicious votes," reads the website. "The fairreserves the right to remove votes that are obvious duplications or theresult of hacking." And then an ominous: "Take it up with yourconscience."
Cringe, cry or grin at the gallery, then pick your favorite pathetic pup here.