The World’s Ugliest Dog for 2017 is a Neapolitan Mastiff who drools and has jowls that reach way down on to her chest.
Three-year-old Martha was given that title in California at the annual world’s ugliest dog competition held in Petaluma.
The contest celebrates the homely and the misfits. While Westminster Dog Show focuses on breeding and pedigree, the dogs at the World’s Ugliest Contest are available for adoption or were previously adopted.
She’s a 125-pound, drooling, snoring, gassy, loud and silly girl,” said Shirley Dawn Zindler who is fostering Martha.
The contestants are judged on first impressions, unusual attributes, personality and audience reaction.
A blind Chihuahua-Chinese Crested mix named Sweepee Rambo bested 16 other homely hounds in last year’s competition and waddled away with $1,500, a trophy and a flight to New York with her owner, Jason Wurtz, for media appearances.
By celebrating inner beauty, organizers said they hope to showcase that all dogs, regardless of physical appearance, can be lovable additions to any family.
Contest rules prevent owners from intentionally altering their animals to enhance appearance for the purpose of the contest. These pooches are celebrated for their natural ugliness, organizers said.
Besides the main crown, the Spirit Award is presented to a dog and owner who have overcome obstacles or provide service to their community, organizers said.
The competition has been held in Petaluma for more than 50 years but is in its 29th year at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.