As It Happens

Martha the 'very chill' mastiff sleeps through her victory at World's Ugliest Dog contest

Martha, the 125-lb Neapolitan mastiff crowned "World's Ugliest Dog," is on her way to her new home after rescuers found her on Craigslist with an untreated eye infection
Shirley Zindler pulls on the cheeks of her dog Martha, a Neapolitan mastiff, that went on to win this year's World's Ugliest Dog Competition in Petaluma, Calif., on Friday. The winner is awarded $1,500, a trophy, and is flown to New York for media appearances. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

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It may sound like an insult, but rescue worker Shirley Zindler says it was "an honour" to have her massive, wrinkly foster pooch Martha be crowned World's Ugliest Dog on Friday.

"The contest actually promotes adoption of dogs that wouldn't be as traditionally desirable, so I think it's a good thing," Zindler told As It Happens guest host Laura Lynch.

Martha is 'very chill' and 'nothing fazes her,' says foster owner Shirley Zindler. ( Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

It's a worthy cause for a dog like Martha.

The Neapolitan mastiff was originally discovered six weeks ago in a Craigslist post, suffering from what turned out to be a severe eye infection that left her partially blind and in chronic pain.

The Dogwood Animal Rescue Project, which Zindler co-founded, took her in and provided the care she needed.

"She's had several surgeries that restored some of her sight, but most of all ... she's no longer in any pain, so it's really a great thing," Zindler said. 

Martha shakes water off her head, fully displaying the glorious, sagging folds of her award-winning face. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

Despite Zindler's excitement at Friday's win, Martha seemed pretty unimpressed by the whole thing.

The great, lumbering beast snoozed on the stage through her victory at the World's Ugliest Dog Competition in Petaluma, Calif.

"Martha is very chill. Nothing fazes her," Zindler said. "They announce it, I am happy, and Martha's snoring."

Martha appears unimpressed with her new award, much to the amusement of caretaker Shirley Zindler, centre, NBC's Kerry Sanders, right. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

And the 125-lb pooch's snores are nothing to scoff at.

"It pretty much rattles the walls," Zindler said. "At home she doesn't sleep in the same room with us because we wouldn't sleep."

Martha's relaxed attitude may have been part of what made her a fan favourite at this year's competition, which traditionally favours small and scraggly dogs.

"She's just this massive thing with heavy bones, ruby jowls and wrinkles, and she was definitely a crowd favourite," Zindler said.

Take a look at some of Martha's competition:

Rascal, a Chinese crested dog, was among the many small and scrappy pooches who challenged Martha for the crown. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Icky the mutt was just not ugly enough to beat Martha at the World's Ugliest Dog competition. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Josie, also a Chinese crested dog, is a good representation of Martha's competition for World's Ugliest Dog. (Josh Edelson/FP/Getty Images)
Meet Chase, yet another Chinse crested dog competing at the 2017 World's Ugliest Dog contest in Petaluma, Calif. (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Now that the big day is over, Martha is heading to her new home. She's being adopted by a dog-loving family in Pengrove, Calif., with 11 acres of land and a pond. 

Zindler suspects they'll be happy with the newest edition to their family. 

"Most of the time, [she's] super mellow and chill. But when she's up and moving, she's very playful, very funny, super adorable. She loves to play, and gets along with the other rescue dogs that we have at Dogwood," Zindler said.

"She's very friendly, loves people, you now, gets along with everybody."

Martha — who loves both people and other dogs — has been adopted by a family in California. (Josh Edelson/AFP/Getty Images)

Do you have a dog (or cat) that snores like Martha? Send a recording of your noisy slumbering critter to, tweet it to @cbcasithappens or just hold the phone up to the cacophony and dial 416-205-5687. 


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