Elwood is one of the "ugliest" dogs around, but he's proved -- with his inspiring good works and legions of adoring fans -- that you don't need to be beautiful to change the world.
Winner of the 2007 World's Ugliest Dog Contest and named New Jersey's 'Most Inspirational Dog' by New Jersey Monthly magazine, Elwood and his owner Karen Quigley of Sewell, N.J. have dedicated themselves to helping homeless and abused animals while spreading a message of kindness and tolerance, PawNation.com reports.
Together the pair have traveled the country at their own expense, supporting nonprofit rescue groups and raising thousands of dollars for animals in need.
“Elwood’s story inspired me,” Quigley told the Gloucester County Times.
Now Elwood is inspiring others.
Recently, Elwood and Quigley assisted a teacher in Brazil who was conducting a six-week program about accepting differences. Students made drawings and wrote stories about Elwood, before finally getting to Skype with the dog himself, PawNation.com reports.
"He truly has made a difference in a lot of kids' lives," Quigley said.
Quigley recalled one book signing event during which a woman approached her and Elwood.
"She said, 'My whole life people have told me I’m ugly and I just wanted to meet him,'" Quigley said. "Elwood makes everyone who has felt that way feel better."
For more on Elwood, watch this 2008 Animal Planet video.