It's not a pageant any of us would want to win, but every year since the 1970s, dog owners from around the world have competed for the title of owning the World's Ugliest Dog. The winner gets $1500, a trophy, and the privilege of having an ugly, utterly adorable pooch.
This year was no different. Hundreds of dogs strutted their stuff, or rather skulked, snored or slobbered, in front of a panel of judges and hundreds of people who came to see the worst the world had to offer.
Eventually a winner was crowned. Meet Martha, the Mastiff with a nearly record-breaking snore, was named the World's Ugliest Dog. She wasn't exactly thrilled with the award, but she didn't seem upset either.
In fact she slept through her own crowning ceremony.
"Martha is very chill. Nothing fazes her," said Shirley Zindler, the rescue worker who is fostering Martha. "They announce it and I am happy, and Martha's snoring.
Like too many of the dogs in the competition, Martha didn't always live an award-winning life. She was discovered after her owner tried to adopt her out on Craigslist. She was suffering from a severe eye infection and lived in constant pain.
The Dogwood Animal Rescue Project, which Zindler runs, took her in. Now, after treatment and several surgeries, Martha is happier and healthier than ever.
"(We) restored some of her sight, but she's no longer in any pain, it's a really great thing."
Far from making fun of the homely hounds, Somoma-Marin Fairgrounds, says that the convention is to show that all dogs are worthy of adoption.
“We’re proud to celebrate all dogs and pets by showing that no matter their imperfections, they are adoptable, lovable and a great addition to any family.” said Erin Post on the company's website.
She may be officially the Ugliest dog, but I'd be happy to take the big lug home.
Check out Past winners of the competition on the next page!