Arizona Public Radio | Your Source for NPR News
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
KNAU's main phone line is experiencing technical difficulties. Click here to contact members of our team directly.

'World's Ugliest Dog' uses new-found fame to raise money for Tuba City Animal Shelter on Navajo Nation

Mr. Happy Face and his mom, Diné musician and activist Jeneda Benally, at the 2022 World's Ugliest Dog Competition in California
D. Ross Cameron/The Associated Press
Mr. Happy Face and his mom, Diné musician and activist Jeneda Benally, at the 2022 World's Ugliest Dog Competition in California

An elderly rescue dog from the Navajo Nation who was crowed this year’s World’s Ugliest Dog, is using his new-found fame to raise money for the Tuba City Animal Shelter.

Mr. Happy Face and his adoptive mom Jeneda Benally, a Diné musician and activist, are bringing awareness to the lack of resources available for reservation dogs to receive the care they need. The pair appeared on the Today Show after winning this year’s competition.

The Navajo-Hopi Observer reports, Benally adopted Mr. Happy Face from the Tuba City shelter on her birthday after she asked for the oldest, most unadoptable dog.

Since winning the 2022 World's Ugliest Dog competition, he has become a multi-media star with his own Instagram account, @mrhappyface_wud. Benally calls him an “Ambassador of Kindness,” raising awareness and respect for elder dogs on the Navajo Nation. The two are doing meet-and-greets this summer as Benally’s band, Sihasin, goes on tour.

Mr. Happy Face is a Chihuahua/Chinese Crested mix with neurological and mobility issues, bowed legs, no teeth and a Mohawk.