Mastiff named Martha crowned world's ugliest dog

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Mastiff named Martha crowned world's ugliest dog

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Eric Risberg/AP
Shirley Zindler, of Sebastopol, Calif, lifts up the jowls of Martha, a Neapolitan mastiff, during the World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair on Friday, June 23, 2017, in Petaluma, Calif. Martha was the winner of the event. (AP Photo/Eric Risberg)

In a lighthearted contest often won by small dogs, this year's winner is a big surprise.

Martha, a 125-pound Neapolitan mastiff, was crowned World's Ugliest Dog for 2017.

The dog, described as gassy but gentle, spent much of its time on stage plopped on its side. 

The annual event took place Friday night at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.

Handler Shirley Zindler told The Associated Press that she rescued Martha when the dog was almost blind, but her sight has been restored after several surgeries.

Martha beat out 13 other contestants vying for the ugliest dog crown, including Moe, a 16-year-old Brussels Griffon-pug mix, who came in second, and Chase, a 14-year-old Chinese Crested-Harke mix, who came in third.

A blind Chihuahua-Chinese Crested mix named Sweepee Rambo won the 2016 competition.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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