It’s that time of year again, when dogs with unusually large heads, hairless bodies or other oddities compete to be the World’s Ugliest Dog.

This year’s winner? A 2-year-old mutt named Peanut, whose wild white-and-brown hair, bulging eyes and protruding teeth belie his sweet, energetic personality.

Although Peanut is healthy now, his owner, Holly Chandler of Greenville, North Carolina, says he was abused and seriously burned as a puppy, resulting in bald patches all over his body and other problems.

Chandler says she hopes Peanut’s victory will help raise awareness about animal abuse.

“We’re trying to use him as a poster child for what can happen to animals who are abused,” she said.

She plans to use the $1,500 prize to pay for other animals’ veterinary bills.

The contest, held this month in Petaluma, California, is in its 26th year.

The dogs are scored by a three-judge panel in several categories, including special or unusual attributes, personality and natural ugliness.

The past five winners have included a duck-footed beagle, boxer and basset hound mix with a waddle; a Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix with a protruding tongue and short tufts of hair; and a Chihuahua with a missing eye and a camel back.

Here are photos of this year’s contestants and past years’ winners.

— Associated Press