Martha, a three-year-old Neapolitan Mastiff, tottered her way to world recognition as the 29th winner of the World's Ugliest Dog title in Petaluma, California. She not only received a lot of media attention, a magnificent trophy, and $1,500, but she also got to prove to the world that every dog is beautiful on the inside.
Martha defeated 13 other dogs to win the title. As soon as she took the stage at the Sonoma-Marin Fair, the gentle giant became a fan favorite. She opted to take a nap instead of parading for the judges.
Martha, like the rest of the dogs in the annual competition, is a rescue. Shirley Zindler of Santa Rosa's Dogwood Animal Rescue Project fostered her. When a fellow rescuer found Martha on Craigslist and saw that she needed help, she decided to take her in. She was almost blind and in pain. Zindler made certain that Martha received the operations she required to regain her sight and relieve her discomfort.
Martha's star quality became apparent once she recovered from her surgeries. Aside from her endearing personality, many people remarked on her distinct features. She is larger than most dogs and has a unique appearance. Zindler finds the combination of the pup's long face, wrinkles, excess skin, crimson eyes, and enormous size adorable.
Zindler decided at the last minute to enter Martha in the competition. She hoped it would raise awareness for rescue dogs. Following Martha's victory, the entire prize money was donated to the rescue organization that paid for her hospital bills. Zindler said it was a privilege to be able to help other dogs in need.
After a media tour as the Ugliest Dog winner, Martha was finally able to settle down with her forever family. They live close to the Dogwood Animal Rescue Project, too.
Credit: Dogwood Animal Rescue Project