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Newly rescued Chihuahua takes 'ugliest dog' title

A rescue dog believed to be a Chihuahua mix has won the World's Ugliest Dog contest.
Image: Kathleen Francis, Princess Abby the Chihuahua
Kathleen Francis, of Clearlake, Calif., clutches her Chihuahua "Princess Abby" after winning the World's Ugliest Dog Contest Friday in Petaluma, Calif.Ben Margot / AP
/ Source: The Associated Press

A Chihuahua's oddly curved back and legs and closed-up left eye earned the 4-year-old rescue dog top honors at the World's Ugliest Dog contest at a Northern California fair on Friday.

Sporting a gray, brown and black coat, Princess Abby Francis beat a rough-looking slate of candidates for the prize, including Pabst, a teeth-bearing boxer mix who won last year.

Princess Abby shivered in the cool breeze after her win Friday night while nestled in the arms of her owner, Kathleen Francis, who received a $1,000 check at the 22nd annual contest held at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma.

The victory was a surprise to Francis.

Image: Princess Abby the Chihuahua
\"Princess Abby\" the purebred chihuahua strolls on the red carpet after winning the World's Ugliest Dog Contest Friday, June 25, 2010, in Petaluma, Calif. (AP Photo/Ben Margot)Ben Margot / AP

"I don't think she's ugly at all," she said. "I think she's the most beautiful dog."

Francis says she rescued Princess Abby from her veterinarian about five months ago.

Celebrity vet Karen "Doc" Halligan, one of the contest's three judges, says the dog's oddly curved back and legs and closed up left eye may be due to being inbred.

"She's a poster child to spay and neuter your pets," she said.

The other judges were Vertical Horizon lead singer Matt Scannell, "That 70's Show" actress Christina Moore and Sonoma-Marin fair board member Brian Sobel.