French Bulldog portrait 2019

1 1/2-year-old Ham lives up to his name after picking up the 2nd place ribbon in the French Bulldog Beauty category last year at the annual Bulldog Beauty Contest at Marine Stadium park, put on by Justin Rudd and the Community Action Team.

Beauty contests are here to stay.

At least that's true for Community Action Team's annual Bulldog Beauty Contest, the just-for-fun canine contest happening on Sunday, Feb. 9, at Marine Stadium, where dogs from all over California — and the world — come to Long Beach to participate. 

The day begins at 9:40 a.m. with the "Best Dog With A Disability" contest. Participating pups include three-legged friends, dogs in wheelchairs, as well as blind and deaf dogs of all breeds.

The main event will immediately follow at 10 a.m. sharp, featuring the National English Bulldog Beauty Contest. Contestants will strut down a red carpet for spectators to see, and for this contest, first impressions are everything.

"What it comes down to is a couple of things," Justin Rudd, founder and organizer, said. "First, are the dog and the owner having a good time? Is the dog smiling with his eyes and is he or she having fun?"

Rudd's nonprofit, Community Action Team (CAT), hosts the event every year. Third District Councilwoman Suzie Price, as well as the Port of Long Beach, are co-sponsors.

bulldog beauty contest runway 2019

Contestants walk the runway between spectators last year at the annual Bulldog Beauty Contest.

Contest winners will be announced shortly after each red carpet walk concludes, with one lucky winner in each category strutting away with food, toys and treats from RedBarn Pet Products and Grandma Lucy's. Both brands are local to Long Beach and will have tables available for samples and information, as well as a photo booth.

The events will continue through 3 p.m., with plenty of opportunities for dogs of all sizes, ages and breeds to get involved and participate.

Categories include "Best Senior Dog" at 11:15 a.m., the French Bulldog Beauty Contest at 12:15 p.m., "Best Smile" at 1:15 p.m., "Most Photogenic" at 2:20 p.m. and "Best Butt" at 2:40 p.m. A full itinerary is available on the event's website, hautedogs.org/bulldog.

The inspiration for the event, Rudd's late Rosie the Bulldog, lives on with each event, he said.

All participants will be judged on their personality, charm and first impression. Judges will include Miss Teen Long Beach and Teen Southern California, Miss Long Beach, Mrs. Long Beach and Ms. Southern California.

Veterinarian Dr. Greg Perrault of Cats and Dogs Animal Hospital will be at the event on standby in case any pet should need medical attention.

People can sign up their pups at hautedogs.org/bulldog. The entrance fee is $10 if registered online, or $20 if registered in person the day of the event. All registration proceeds will be donated to various animal welfare programs in Long Beach. 

The 16th annual Bulldog Beauty Contest is happening at 9:40 a.m. on Sunday, Feb. 9, at Marine Stadium Park, 5255 E. Paoli Way.

Stephanie Stutzman can be reached at sstutzman@gazettes.com.

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