Jun 20, 2013 7:19 PM by Danielle Lerner
TUCSON- A Tucson dog will be in the international spotlight Friday, vying for the title of "World's Ugliest Dog." Josie and her owner, Linda Elmquist, are heading to the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, CA for the second time, but they are not just in it to win it. Elmquist says it will be great if Josie wins, but the real goal is to highlight pet adoption and have some fun in the process.
"It was a great media frenzy, I've never experienced anything like it," said Elmquist. "Somebody called me up and said 'I saw you on CNN News.'"
Elmquist is already bracing for another media blitz heading into Friday's competition. Last year's title went to crowd favorite Mugley, who was also "Britain's Ugliest Dog" winner. Elmquist says impressing the fans will be their big focus this time around.
"Just letting her show off a little bit more," she said.
The day is about fun and family but it is also a chance to put rescue dogs in the spotlight. Many of these so-called "ugly dogs" come from abusive situations. Elmquist rescued Josie from a backyard puppy mill.
"Any dog is loveable," Elmquist said. "Whether they're on the Westminster or they're over at Petaluma."
The winner flies to New York City Sunday to appear on the Tonight Show. He or she will then serve as an ambassador for rescue dogs the rest of the year.