Martha the Neapolitan mastiff wins world’s ugliest dog contest

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SONOMA COUNTY, Calif. -- No doubt about it, Martha is ugly. She's also described as big, lazy, homely and gassy. But Martha is now a world champion.

She's a 125-pound Neapolitan mastiff. The 3-year-old was a crowd favorite from the beginning of the World's Ugliest Dog competition.

She constantly plopped down on her side on the stage, her droopy face spread out when she was supposed to be showing off.

The annual event celebrates the unique features that make some dogs "so ugly that they're actually cute."

The dogs entered in the contest often flaunt unnaturally droopy faces, bared teeth, and unruly fur and tongues that stick out permanently. But Martha rose above the rest Friday night.

At the competition, held at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in California, the unsightly yet lovable dogs were paraded down a red carpet with the hopes of winning $1,500, a trophy and a trip to New York for media appearances.

Martha didn't care about any of that. She just snored.

Chinese cresteds, Chihuahuas and mutts are the breeds most frequently entered though the contest also factors in personality when choosing a champion.

The vast majority of the entries are rescue dogs and pooches that, without their sympathetic owners, may never had the shot to take home the coveted title.

Martha lives with her owner in nearby Sebastopol, California. She was rescued when she was nearly blind from neglect by the Dogwood Animal Rescue Project in Sonoma County, where the contest was held.

Her owner said she can see again after several surgeries

Martha won the title of ugliest dog in a competition that featured 14 pooches. She was the only animal in this year’s contest too big to be held by her handler. Most of the entrants are older, smaller dogs who win here.

Moe, a 16-year-old Brussels griffon pug-mix, came in second.

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