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World's ugliest dog, Martha, crowned in California

World's ugliest dog, Martha Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Three-year-old Martha with owner Shirley Zindler

Martha, a Neapolitan mastiff, has been named this year's World's Ugliest Dog.

The annual competition, now it its 29th year, was held in Petaluma, California.

Martha, with owner Shirley Zindler, beat 13 other contenders to be presented with a trophy and a $1,500 (£1,200) prize.

The big-jowled crowd-pleaser will now be flown to New York for "media appearances", according to the organisers.

The Sonoma-Marin Fair, where the event takes place, says the event typically includes lots of dogs that have been rescued from shelters and puppy mills.

Martha is former rescue dog who went nearly blind from neglect, said Ms Zindler.

After various operations, she can now see again and is pain-free.

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Martha shakes water off her head after receiving her award

The Associated Press news agency said Martha immediately won over the judges by obliviously sprawling across the stage, with no intention of doing any tricks.

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The panel based their decisions on first impressions, unusual attributes, personality and audience reaction, the agency added.

"The contest has done much to raise awareness for adoption of dogs, and that no matter their physical detractions, these animals are loving companions," says the fair's website. "And the dogs certainly seem to enjoy the adoration of the fans."

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Martha let her droopy jaws flop across the stage
Image copyright AFP / Getty Images
Image caption Miriam Tcheng with her Brussels griffon pug called Moe, who came second
Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Chase, a Chinese crested-Harke mix, was representing Neath in Wales and claimed third place
Image copyright AFP/Getty Images
Image caption One of the contenders was called Rascal
Image copyright EPA
Image caption But it was Martha who won over the judges

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