Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and for one rescue dog, her unique beauty has scored the top prize of “World’s Ugliest Dog.” The contest, held at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California, was won by Martha, a three-year-old, 125-pound Neapolitan mastiff, on June 23.
Martha is a rescue dog with the Dogwood Animal Rescue Project in Sonoma County. Going into the contest, the rescue agency had high hopes for their contestant…just before Martha headed off to participate in the unique “beauty” contest, the organization wrote:
Of course, we think Martha is beautiful, however, we also think that her uniqueness, her red eyes, her drool, and big droopy face might give her a shot at the big prize. Think of how many dogs we can save with $1500. Its all in fun and the dogs are all pampered and adored.
As it turned out, Martha’s excess folds and red eyes (and no doubt, her awesome personality) were just what was needed to win over the crowd. Chief Judge Brian Sobel said “We were impressed by a 125-pound dog with 300 pounds of skin. And Martha was the overwhelming crowd favorite.”
Martha is being fostered by Shirley Dawn Zindler, for the Dogwood Animal Rescue Group. Zindler shared a few endearing tidbits about her slobbery, adorable foster pup:
“She’s a 125-pound, drooling, snoring, gassy, loud and silly girl. She knocks over every water bucket no matter how securely attached to the fence. She bosses the other dogs around and makes sure all guests are suitably slimed on arrival.”
According to the non-profit group, all of the attention hasn’t gone to Martha’s head. On Saturday morning, the rescue agency wrote:
Martha hasn’t let fame go to her head. She was out enjoying her favorite game of kick the water bowl this morning. We are so thrilled that Martha is now pain-free and has regained some vision thanks to her amazing vets and supporters. She will be going to her loving forever home soon to live the life every dog deserves. Rescue, rehome, repeat.
Martha got more than just the title of World’s Ugliest dog – she also took home a big trophy, $1500 in prize money, and she will be flown to New York for media appearances.
Find Martha’s rescue group at this link.
Press Release about the World’s Ugliest Dog contest here.
Watch a heartwarming video, a Poem To My Foster Dog, here.
Interested in receiving more inspiring animal stories? Please subscribe! Don’t forget to tune in to watch Shelter Me’s latest episodes here.