The dog, from Greenville, North Carolina, won the title from a panel of three judges. An online-voting portion also found Peanut as the runaway winner, receiving more than twice as many votes as his closest competitor, Quasi Modo.
Peanut’s energetic nature belies his tragic past. As a puppy, he was subject to horrific abuse, and was burned on parts of his body. The pooch spent 9 months in a shelter before he was adopted.
His owner, Holly Chandler, 26, intends to use the $1,500 prize to help pay veterinarian bills of other dogs.
“We’re trying to use him as a poster child for what can happen to animals who are abused,” Chandler says.
In the past, the title has frequently gone to Chinese Cresteds; this is the second year in a row, however, a mutt has taken the title, as Peanut is believed to be of Chihuahua–Shih Tzu heritage. Walle, a Beagle–Basset–Boxer, won first prize in 2013.