World’s Ugliest Dog Contest Returns to Petaluma Saturday

Hairless, overweight, three-legged? Give your pooch a chance to shine at the Sonoma-Marin Fair this weekend.

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Calling all hairless, toothless, tongue-lolling, short-legged, and loose-skinned dogs: Your moment for fame is here (again). It’s county fair season, and arguably the best contest held in the entire Bay Area takes place at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 23 at the Sonoma-Marin Fair: The World’s Ugliest Dog Contest

As a reminder, last year’s winner was the oh-so-grotesque Martha, a 125-pound Neopolitan Mastiff whose appearance is so droopy it seems unlikely that she can even see past the rolls of skin hanging off her face.

As with many dogs entered, she was up for adoption at the time of the show and was being fostered by Shirley Dawn Zindler for the Dogwood Animal Rescue Group. Nevertheless, she won the hearts of judges. 

“We were impressed by a 125-pound dog with 300 pounds of skin. And Martha was the overwhelming crowd favorite,” said judge Brian Sobel at the time.

Martha was adopted and now lives on a sprawling property in Penngrove, California. 

Most ugliest dog contests feature Mexican hairless dogs as winners, and rightly so, as their patchy coats are pretty horrific – but we’re glad that the Marin Sonoma fair expanded their prizes beyond the norm. The winner of the 30-year-old contest gets $1,500, a trophy, and a whopping amount of national media attention. 

If you think you have a contender, hop to it: Entries have to be submitted by 5 p.m. on Wednesday, June 20. 

The Sonoma-Marin fair runs from June 20-24, 12 noon to midnight, at the Petaluma County Fairgrounds, 175 Fairgrounds Drive. 

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