We were all sad to hear that Yoda, the world’s ugliest dog of 2011, recently passed away. But there are still plenty of homely canines among us, including 2007′s World’s Ugliest Dog, Elwood.

Like many ugly dogs, the Chinese-crested Chihuahua had a rough start to life and was almost put down before being rescued by his owner Karen Quigley of Sewell, N.J., who saw the inner beauty in the pooch.

Now, Quigley and Elwood are using Elwood’s unique look to help other dogs in need, touring the country in an effort to raise money for homeless animals.

Not only have they raised thousands for that cause, but Elwood is becoming a poster dog for teaching children about tolerance.

“Last fall a third-grade teacher from Brazil contacted me and wanted to do an entire six-week lesson on accepting differences and wanted to use Elwood to promote the message,” Quigley explained. “He truly has made a difference in a lot of kids’ lives. It’s amazing he’s gone that far.”

Inspiring, indeed. Although we do have to take issue with the whole “ugly” thing. If you ask us, Elwood is quite a striking looking beast. What do you think?

[via Huffington Post]