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Martha: The beauty that won the Ugliest Dog award

Martha, a Neapolitan Mastiff sits in the grass at The World's Ugliest Dog Competition Photograph: (AFP)

WION Web Team India Jun 25, 2017, 06.55 AM (IST)

Martha the Neapolitan Mastiff, a sluggish 125 pound (57 kg) dog won first place among the 14 contestants who had participated in the World's Ugliest Dog Competition, organised in Petaluma, California.

The 3-year-old dog walked onstage lazily and snored loudly when she was supposed to be showing off at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.

Impressing the judges with what appeared to be her "300 pounds" of droopy skin on her long bones, she won the crown along with a trophy, a trip to New York and $1500 (USD). 

Martha shakes water off her head after winning this year's World's Ugliest Dog Competition (AFP)

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Martha used to be among the thousands of neglected large breed dogs, whose owner was trying to sell her on Craigslist (an American version of Olx) when her current handler Shirley Zindler took her in. Zindler is the founder of the animal fostering group, 'Dogwood Animal Rescue Project', the New York Times reported.

"She knocks over every water bucket no matter how securely attached to the fence," said owner Shirley Dawn Zindler of her homely hound. "She bosses the other dogs around and makes sure all guests are suitably slimed on arrival."

Martha will now live with Ms Burkard, who reached out to Dogwood via Facebook, reported the New York Times. 

The competition was stiff: Moe, a lackadaisical, scraggly-haired mutt whose tongue generally hangs out the side of his mouth nabbed second place.

Miriam Tcheng holds her Brussel Griffon Pug 'Moe' during The World's Ugliest Dog Competition (AFP)

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Precious, a rat-like, wide-eyed Chihuahua claimed the spirit award.

Precious the Chihuahua faces off with Martha the Neapolitan Mastiff during The World's Ugliest Dog Competition (AFP)

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The small coastal city of Petaluma has been hosting an annual ugly dog contest for more than 50 years, organisers said. 

This year's event included a red carpet walk and a "fashion faux paw show" -- complete with ugly sweaters -- allowing the less aesthetically pleasing canines of the world the chance to strut their stuff.

"We celebrate the spirit and imperfections that make these dogs lovable," said event marketing director Karen Spencer.

A Chinese Crested dog named Chase walks on stage during The World's Ugliest Dog Competition (AFP)

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Josie, a Chinese Crested, waits to compete in the World's Ugliest Dog Competition (AFP)

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