Worlds Ugliest Dog contest oozing sore controversy comes to Icky conclusion

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Incorrect reports that contest winner SweePee had oozing sores led to a quest for the truth. Turns out the honor goes to an acne-ridden pup named Icky

The mysterious case of the oozing dog has finally been solved.

After nearly a week of consternation, flying emails filled with capital letters and multiple exclamation points, dueling eyewitness accounts, nasty social media postings and many, many bruised feelings, it has been proven beyond a reasonable doubt that SweePee Rambo is the ugliest dog in the world but she is not the most disgusting.

That honor goes to the aptly named, acne-ridden Icky.

The Worlds Ugliest Dog Contest has been mired in controversy this week over reports that the winner, SweePee Rambo, had oozing sores.

Those reports were traced to a local journalist whose story for the Santa Rosa Press Democrat, based on overheard remarks from a judge, was picked up by the Associated Press and published worldwide, including in the Guardian.

SweePee Rambos owner Jason Wurtz protested that judge Neal Gottliebs remarks about oozing sores were a reference to another dog although footage of the incident initially appeared inconclusive.

However, the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds & Event Center said in a statement late on Wednesday that they had investigated the controversy and reached a verdict.

During the Worlds Ugliest Dog Contest on Friday June 24, 2016, Judge Neil (sic) Gottlieb made a comment while bantering with the MC about a dog having an oozing sore, the statement said.

We have reviewed video from the event and the dog he was examining when he made the comment was notSweePee Rambo, the statement continued. Our staff at no time before or after the Worlds Ugliest Dog Contest observed any sores of any kind on the winner SweePee Rambo.

And the oozing sore goes too … Icky at the Worlds Ugliest Dog competition in Petaluma, California. Photograph: Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images

Officials at the annual Worlds Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma do not want you just to take their word for it. Along with an apology to Wurtz for his pain and suffering during this ordeal, their statement included a clean bill of health signed by a veterinarian and video evidence of Gottliebs faux pas.

SweePee is most certainly ugly. The 17-year-old Chinese crested is blind, incontinent, nearly bald and almost toothless. Her spine is bent at a 90-degree angle, and her arthritic legs are permanently akimbo.

Wurtz adores the creature and takes her everywhere. He repairs communication lines for a living, and SweePee climbs up telephone poles with him in a backpack slung over his shoulders. He modifies diapers made for human newborns to accommodate the dogs scrawny tail.

In its initial story about SweePees victory in the contest, which attracts global interest, the Santa Rosa Press Democrat reported: Judge Neal Gottlieb seemed particularly impressed with a sore on SweePees leg, noting dogs get extra points for ooze.

Unlike the contest officials statement, the Press Democrat spelled Gottliebs first name correctly. But it misidentified the oozing dog. And the judge responsible for the extra points part of the comment. However, when the paper reached Gottlieb earlier this week for clarification, he stood by his story. He did, though, downgrade his assessment of SweePees dermatological problem from sore to scrape.

The video tells a different and more disgusting story.

First, the mistress of ceremonies introduces challenger Icky, who is carried to the judging table by his mullet-haired and much-tattooed owner. Then she instructs the three-judge panel to get your hands all over Icky, cause that dog feels like somethin.

The judges smell the bumpy Chinese cresteds feet. One judge squeals. Ickys owner begins to walk away. Gottlieb calls out: Would you bring him back here for a second? He is actually oozing. Hes oozing. Theres an open wound on this dog.

Case closed.

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