"Peanut is one of the ugliest dogs we have ever judged in this contest," said judge Brian Sobel, who described him as "just hideous."

Owned by 26-year-old Holly Chandler, a manufacturing engineer from Greenville, N.C., Peanut was rescued from a shelter a year ago after spending more than 9 months scaring off would-be adoptive families.

Peanut beat out some stiff competition to win the $1,500 prize, including a bulldog mix named Quasi Modo, a crowd favorite.

A spinal deformity left Quasi Modo looking like the dog missing his middle. Owner Virginia Sayre of Loxahatchee, Fla. said children have been known to scream and grown men jump on the hoods of cars when they walk past.

Quasi Modo received 671 votes in online judging, a far cry from Peanut's 1,795.

Sweetpee Rambo, a Chinese Crested-Chihuahua mix, was the first runner-up. He has freckled skin and a blond Mohawk, and when enthusiastic owner Jason Rambo held him aloft, he rear legs splayed out sideways like a bullfrog.

But he was no match for the ghoul from Greenville.

"Peanut is in a class by itself," Sobel said.

(You can reach Staff Writer Kevin McCallum at 521-5207 or kevin.mccallum@pressdemocrat.com. On Twitter @citybeater.)