125-pound Mastiff named Martha crowned world’s ugliest dog

Lending truth to the adage that every child is lovely to its mum, Martha’s owner, Jessica Burkard, said she saw only gorgeousness when she first clapped eyes on Martha at California’s Dogwood Animal Rescue Project. Moe, who had lost his hearing and sight, was the oldest contestant at the Sonoma-Marin Fair, where the competition is held.The dog, from nearby Sebastopol, was rescued when she was almost blind from neglect by the Dogwood Animal Rescue Project in Sonoma County, where the contest was held. Besides the honor of the title, Martha also gets a trophy, a $1,500 prize and a flight to New York City for “media appearances”, according to contest organizers.”She knocks over every water bucket no matter how securely attached to the fence”, owner Shirley Dawn Zindler said. The Neapolitan mastiff had been taken in by the charity after her previous owner tried to sell her on USA listing site Craigslist.Some were homely, some were unkempt and some were downright grotesque, but only one would walk away the champion and the crowned “The World’s Ugliest Dog”.She didn’t even have to try very hard – after taking to the stage, Martha lay down and took a nap.A 16-year-old Brussels Giffon-pug mix named Moe, who was also the oldest in the competition, took second place.Numerous contestants are adopted. Monkey, a six-year-old Brussels Griffon, and Icky, an eight-year-old unknown breed, were both rescued from the homes of hoarders.The criteria the dogs are judged on include audience reaction, first impressions and unusual attributes.The Chinese Crested (this one named Sweepee Rambo, with proud dad Jason Wurtz) has dominated ugly dog comps because. well, this.These dogs – some with acne, others with tongues permanently sticking out – are used to getting called ugly.And while each canine contestant had its own unsightly features, all of them had heartwarming stories, from neglect and abandonment to disabilities and surgeries.Second prize is always presented to a dog and their owner who have overcome particularly hard obstacles or who provide a special service to their community.