Scamp the Tramp is 2019's World's Ugliest Dog with a heart of gold

It was a case of try, try, try again for the award-winning pooch.

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
SUBSCRIBE
/ Source: TODAY
By Drew Weisholtz

Talk about winning ugly.

A pooch named Scamp the Tramp has won this year’s World’s Ugliest Dog contest, held Friday at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California, beating out a field of 18 other four-legged contestants.

This marked the fourth year the mutt has competed. His previous best finish came last year when he was the runner-up.

A crowning achievement! Scamp the Tramp is revealed as the winner of the World's Ugliest Dog.AFP - Getty Images

“Scamp the champ now. We had to change his name,” owner Yvonne Morones, who hails from Sonoma County, told TODAY Monday.

Trending stories,celebrity news and all the best of TODAY.

So, what exactly made Scamp championship caliber after failing to win the crown in his previous attempts?

“Well, I think the audience got to know him beforehand and they saw all his community volunteer work,” Morones said.

Scamp had failed to win the title in three previous tries before finally breaking through this year.Nathan Congleton/TODAY

Scamp certainly did bring a hefty body of work along to the competition.

“His lengthy resume includes being a social therapy dog and a reading dog for a first-grade class, as well as representing the Humane Society of Sonoma County in a kissing booth at events and greeting passengers at the Sonoma County Airport,” reported The New York Times.

And while people may initially be taken aback by Scamp’s appearance, Morones says there’s a lot more to him.

“He’s absolutely adorable," she said. "When people first meet him, they go, ‘Oh, he’s kind of scary’ and then he wins them over with his sparking personality.”

Morones, who rescued Scamp in 2014, certainly embraces his unorthodox look.

“I call him a Rastafarian dog and I suspect he’s got some DNA from Keith Richards too!” she wrote on the fair’s site. “Scamp was found as a stray on the mean streets of Compton & I rescued him at his last hour from a Los Angeles animal shelter. His black body hair does not grow & no matter how many trips to the groomer, Scamp’s hair naturally grows gray dreadlocks down his back all the way to his tail. No amount of hair conditioner can calm down his tresses!”

Owner Yvonne Morones talks about Scamp the Tramp on TODAY after his big win.Nathan Congleton/TODAY

Amazingly, this is the third time Morones has owned a dog that has won the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest. In fact, she had a dog named Nana that won an astonishing six years in a row, beginning its title run in 1996.

For his efforts, Scamp won $1,500, as well as a matching donation for the Humane Society of Sonoma County, Angels Fund and Compassion Without Borders.