Huge, homely mastiff named Martha wins world's ugliest dog

At 3 years old and 125 pounds, Martha on Friday night pawed her way to the top at this year's 29th annual World's Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma, California, where she was awarded $1,500, a trophy and a trip to NY for camera appearances.

"Do you know you just won the World's Ugliest Dog Contest?" asked Kerry Sanders of NBC News, one of three judges who gave Martha the crown.

She was rescued when she was almost blind, but after several surgeries can see again, according to her handler Shirley Zindler.

Despite her dog's rather lacklustre reaction, Ms Zindler said they were "thrilled".

The group says Martha is 125 pounds of drooling, gassy, silly fun!

Numerous contestants are adopted.

Martha's family received $1,500, a trophy and a trip to NY for media appearances.

Martha's win is especially significant since it breaks the stranglehold on ugliest dog titles that has been held for years by the Chinese Crested breed (cross a large, mange-ridden rat with a bat and a paralysed tongue and you've got the picture).

She didn't even have to try very hard - after taking to the stage, Martha lay down and took a nap.

The competition also aims to find a home for abandoned dogs through a series of events that include a fashion show and red carpet walk. Moe, who had lost his hearing and sight, was the oldest contestant at the Sonoma-Marin Fair, where the competition is held. But for their owners, it was love at first sight, and why would it not be right?

A blind Chihuahua-Chinese Crested mix named Sweepee Rambo bested 16 other ugly entries in last year's competition.

Moe was this year's most senior contestant.

  • Zachary Reyes