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

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.

Meet the winner of this year's World's Ugliest Dog Contest 2:54

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."

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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.

Image: Shirley Zindler of Sebastopol, California sits with her Neapolitan Mastiff named Martha after after winning the 2017  World's Ugliest Dog contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair on June 23, 2017 in Petaluma, California.
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.