The word “purebred” is something that when it comes to dogs people seem to see as a sort of guarantee. A promise that this dog came from certain lines and has all the desirable traits and heritage. When talking about dog shows, this is the epitome of pure breeding and the best of the best are brought to compete in the ring.
What a lot of people don’t know is that “purebred” can also sometimes mean puppy mills. These places tend to foster abuse and neglect for the bottom line. Dogs are treated as property and used until they can no longer produce the puppies required of them. At that point, they are discarded or given away without a thought to the dog’s wellbeing.
The good news is rescue agencies like Underdog Rescue exist to help dogs who need it most. Dogs like Zsa Zsa.
Zsa Zsa started life in a puppy mill in Missouri being bred over and over again for 5 years. It was at this point in 2014 her owners felt she was no longer useful and decided to give her away. This is how she came to live at Underdog Rescue and her life really began. They made sure she received all the medical attention she needed and had her spayed so her days of breeding would be behind her.
Shannon McKenzie is not only the founder but also the director of Underdog Rescue and kept a close watch on Zsa Zsa. Like other dogs who are rescued from puppy mills, it took a long time to adjust to the idea of being a pet, being in a place she was free to be herself and more importantly safe. In the beginning, she was uncomfortable in her new surroundings and would snap at other dogs out of fear.
McKenzie spoke about her saying, “It took a long time to get her fully back to health, and now she lives with other dogs and is doing great”.
After a while Zsa Zsa was finally ready to be adopted out. At nine years old, it would take a very special family to give Zsa Zsa the home she needed. After a long adoption process Megan and Jesse Brainard of Anoka, Minnesota were approved as her forever home. They instantly recognized her beautiful spirit and sweet heart. Not only that but her new family completely embraced her somewhat strange look of the extreme overbite and very broad shoulders.
It was because of her amazing personality and triumph over some very great odds her family decided she would be a perfect contestant for the 2018 World’s Ugliest Dog contest. While the title makes the competition, now in its 30th year, sound somewhat mean-spirited it is actually quite the opposite.
The World’s Ugliest Dog competition promotes adopting your next pet and not encouraging sales through puppy mills. It helps to celebrate all the wonderful, beautiful and unique things about rescue dogs.
It turns out it wasn’t just Shannon McKenzie or the Brainards who recognized Zsa Zsa’s shining self. After her family drove her 30 hours to Petaluma, California she was crowned the winner of the World’s Ugliest Dog contest. People from all over got to see what an amazing recovery she made and all the good rescue agencies do for these dogs.
Many people posted pictures of Zsa Zsa and you can see in the last one the great big pink trophy she won as well.
Zsa Zsa was brought to New York to appear for the media and along with her trophy, Underdog Rescue received a $1,500 prize match for the work they did to help this underdog out. Zsa Zsa is one amazing rescue story, not only for winning such a prestigious contest but also for finding her perfect forever home.
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