Subscribe to Breaking News emails

You have successfully subscribed to the Breaking News email.

Subscribe today to be the first to to know about breaking news and special reports.

Huge, Homely Mastiff Named Martha Wins World's Ugliest Dog

by Ariana Brockington and Associated Press /
Martha, a Neapolitan Mastiff, shakes water off her head after winning this year's World's Ugliest Dog Competition in Petaluma, California on June 23, 2017. The winner of the competition is awarded $1500, a trophy, and is flown to New York for media appearances.Josh Edelson / AFP - Getty Images

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

Martha the Neapolitan Mastiff is more than just a droopy face — she's a world champion.

At 3 years old and 125 pounds, Martha on Friday night pawed her way to the top at this year's 29th annual World’s Ugliest Dog Contest in Petaluma, California, where she was awarded $1,500, a trophy and a trip to New York for camera appearances.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

NBC News' Kerry Sanders, one of the three judges, asked Martha: "Do you know you just won the World’s Ugliest Dog Contest?"

Martha's handler, Shirley Zindler, replied: "I'd gloat, but I need a nap."

Related: Quasi Modo the Mutt is Crowned World's Ugliest Dog

The Northern California crowd was charmed by Martha as she lay with her exhausted face spread across the stage.

The gentle giant was nearly blind and rescued from the Dogwood Animal Rescue Project in Santa Rosa when she was younger.

 Shirley Zindler of Sebastopol, Calif., sits with her Neapolitan Mastiff named Martha after after winning the 2017 World's Ugliest Dog contest. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

She was the only dog at the competition whose handler couldn't hold her — but that didn't stop Martha from snagging the trophy away from 13 other dogs.

The criteria the dogs are judged on include audience reaction, first impressions and unusual attributes.

Second place went to a 16-year-old Brussels Giffon-pug mix named Moe — the oldest in the competition.

These dogs — some with acne, others with tongues permanently sticking out — are used to getting called ugly. But for their owners, it was love at first sight.

"He's my sexy boy," Vicky Adler, of Davis, California, said of her 8-year-old Chinese Crested named Zoomer.

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.
MORE FROM news

Have feedback?

How likely are you to recommend nbcnews.com to a friend or colleague?

0 = Very unlikely
10 = Very likely
Please select answer

Is your feedback about:

Please select answer

Leave your email if you’d like us to respond. (Optional)

Please enter a valid email address

Thank you!

Your feedback has been sent out. Please enjoy more of our content.

We appreciate your help making nbcnews.com a better place.