All Rise For Judge Bandit!
Ugly Dog Contest Adds Bandit To The Bench
By Gerry Ashley


Del Mar, CA -Over the past few years at San Diego’s now-famous Ugly Dog contest, Bandit and his human (Mark Shaffer) have repeatedly won prizes in such categories as “Dog Who Looks Most Like His Owner,” “Best Outfit” and the coveted “People’s Choice” award.  (held this year on Sunday, March 12th).


This year, Bandit & Shaffer decided to retire from the  nationally-known competition . However, Shaffer approached the organizers and voiced an interest in the pair serving as judges at the annual event put on by the Del Mar Kiwanas Club. The event, held at the Del Mar Fairgrounds & Race Track, raises funds to benefit The Helen Woodward Animal Center's Therapeutic Riding Program and Rancho Coastal Humane Society's Animal Safehouse Program.  


“Bandit wasn't sold on the idea of being a judge at first,” said Shaffer. “He’s never been judgmental and he prefers not to choose one of his canine friends over the other. “So I told him that it’s not so much judging as it is giving special recognition to all those dogs who made a special effort to help raise money for the recipients of the fundraising event.” Bandit gave Shaffer a quick “high five” and it was a done deal. The organizers were thrilled when suggested it to them.  They thought having Bandit on board would really appeal to the crowd. They were right.


The event promoters also made Bandit their "Honorary Mascot" of the event in recognition of his frequent social work in the San Diego area. “He really is very community oriented,” Shaffer stated. “We love to get involved with groups who go out of their way to help others. Bandit doesn’t care if it’s humans or animals… if there’s a need, he wants to help. This is what I mean about Bandit not being judgmental.”  


Bandit’s first turn as Judge saw him presiding over 14 categories, and it went without a hitch. Or leash. In fact, CNN Headline News featured footage of Bandit riding up onto the stage on his scaled-down Harley Davidson to open the event. Judging by the crowds’ enthusiastic reaction, Judge Bandit may want to consider law as his next career move. There’s already talk in the Bush administration that, should another seat should open on the bench of the Supreme Court, Bandit could get the nod.  “Bandit's cool with that,” Shaffer adds. “I think he has a crush on Condoleezza Rice anyway.”


That may be the case, but a White House Spokesman (speaking on the condition of anonymity) has strongly suggested Bandit NOT accept any invitations to go hunting with Vice President Dick Cheney.



For more information about this event, please click on the link:

For more information about the beneficiaries of funds
by the Kiwanis and Ugly Dog Contest,
click on the following links: 

Rancho Coastal Humane Society Safehouse Program

Helen Woodward Therapeutic Riding Program



Making an appearance on KUSI,
promoting the 11th annual
Ugly Dog Contest
(l) Sandra Maas (r) Andrea Naversen