GREENVILLE, PITT COUNTY - Greenville Mayor Allen Thomas has proclaimed Saturday, Aug. 16 to be "Peanut Appreciation Day" -- in honor of a previously abused dog who overcame his injuries to win the World's Ugliest Dog Contest.
Peanut was set on fire by his previous owners and was burned from head to tail, said his owner, Holly Chandler, of Greenville. A good Samaritan found the dog in Washington and took him to veterinarians to be treated.
Peanut, now 2 years old, cannot close his eyes because his eyelids were burned, said Chandler. His teeth is always showing because his lips were burned off as well. In addition, much of Peanut's fur cannot grow back.
Chandler said she decided to enter Peanut in the World's Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma, Calif., to raise awareness about animal abuse. On June 20, Peanut beat 24 other dogs to win first place.
To honor Peanut's win and the attention he has brought to animal abuse, Mayor Thomas signed the proclamation Thursday night declaring Saturday, Aug. 16 as "Peanut Appreciation Day."
The proclamation states the following:
"Peanut's win and the cause that he champions have been reported across the country, from local to national news outlets. Now, therefore, I, Allen M. Thomas, mayor if the City of Greenville, North Carolina, do hearby proclaim Saturday, August 16, 2014 as PEANUT APPRECIATION DAY in the City of Greenville in appreciation of the awareness that Peanut has brought to the seriousness of animal abuse."
Since his win in the World's Ugliest Dog Contest, Peanut has been featured on ABC News, CBS News, TIME, Today, and even Jimmy Kimmel Live.
Chandler said she plans to use the $1,500 prize to pay for other pets' vet bills.