Yoda the 'world's ugliest dog' dies aged 15

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A 15-year-old Chinese crested and Chihuahua mix dog dubbed 'The World's Ugliest' has died, her owner announced today.

Yoda, winner of the 2011 World's Ugliest Dog contest held annually in California, died in her sleep on Saturday.

The prize winning pet shot to fame following the contest and achieved minor celebrity status, appearing on a number of television programs - and even featuring in a makeover show.

Terry Schumacher, her owner, had initially mistaken Yoda for a rat when she found her abandoned - but the dog went on to pick up a $1000 (£638) prize and a trophy 15 times her size after winning the contest last June.

Vicki DeArmon, producer of the contest, said Yoda will keep the title of 'World's Ugliest Dog' until a new ugliest dog is crowned in June.

Yoda only weighed 1.8lbs (0.8kg) and had experienced a rough life before being rescued by her owner after being found behind an apartment building.

Terry Schumacher told the Hanford Sentinel that she will miss "her funny little ways", but was "comforted knowing she will be joining my Mom and Dad, who loved her so much. Her memories will live on forever."

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