The Eugene Weekly often shows pictures of pit bulls, mostly ones hoping for homes in the Greenhill Pet of the Week advertisement toward the back of each issue. This week a different kind of animal (almost literally) surfaced. Page 8 in the June 23rd issue introduces readers to Lucille, a local pit bull hoping to make Lane County proud with a win at the 2011 World’s Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California.
Lucille has already made her way down to California in preparation for the contest that starts tonight (Friday, June 24th) at 6pm Pacific Time. Lucille has been described as having characteristics akin to that of a gargoyle and a bat. She is a heart warming success story from Luv-a-Bull (a local volunteer driven non-profit dedicated to rescuing and re-homing unwanted pit bulls.)
Luv-a-Bull’s founder, Liesl Wilhardt, hopes that a win for Lucille would bring much needed attention to the “…plight of badly bred, unwanted pit bulls and their need for rescue and love.” Considering that the contest is now in its 23rd year and receives major publicity, Lucille has some stiff competition ahead of her. This year the contest is receiving even more attention than ever, as mentioned in an article titled “Petaluma’s World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Headed for the Big Screen” on petaluma.patch.com. The author Morgan Ray states that “Now, the contest and the people behind it are the subject of a new documentary, “Worst in Show,” by local filmmakers John Beck and co-director Don Lewis.” The documentary follows the 2009 heated rivalry between a boxer named Pabst (with a cartoon-like overbite) and the former raining champ, Rascal (a Chinese Crested hairless breed). Beck and Lewis can be followed on Twitter @UglyDogDoc for live updates on tonight’s contest.
The contestants can be viewed and voted for online, but ultimately the winner will be selected from a panel of judges. And although Wilhardt (Luv-a-Bull’s founder) would not mind the money and fame that Lucille would enjoy if she won, she is excited about bringing pit bull rescue into the public eye. Pit bulls have been an area of concern in Lane County for a while now; with the horrors of dog fighting, the abundance of them abandoned in our shelters, and the overall misunderstanding of the breed.
Lane County’s website even dedicates a page for Tips for Pit bull Owners. To see how you can get involved in helping local pit bulls please contact Luv-a-Bull. And of course please watch the 2011 Worlds Ugliest Dog Contest to feel proud of our local representative no matter what the outcome. If you happen to be in the Portland area between June 24th-30th, checkout Worst in Show at the Clinton Street Theater.