Each year, one lucky pooch is crowned with the dubious title of "World's Ugliest Dog" at the annual Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, California. It's both an honor and a burden, of course, recognizing that these canines have their fair share of superficial flaws — but also are lovable pets in their own right. Beauty, after all, is in the eye of the owner, and these owners have found a proud way to display just how much they adore their four-footed companions.
The trophy-winning pet for 2017 was Martha, a Neapolitan mastiff with droopy, bloodshot eyes and sagging jowls, while other years' champions have included the blind Chinese crested Sweepee Rambo and and wizened, whiskered Yoda. Take a look through the decade's winners of the odd title.
This year's competition, held June 23 at the fair as usual, featured events like a "Faux Paw Fashion Show" and "Red Carpet Walk." The winning prize includes $1,500, a trophy, and a flight to New York for media appearances where the pup can preen at last. As to who determines the titular Ugliest Dog? Judges for 2017 included long-standing head judge Brian Sobel and Today Show correspondent Kerry Sanders. Competition is always fierce amongst the many canines in the running for that unlikely prize, most of whom have been rescued and have overcome — or are dealing with — some kind of health issues.