Newly crowned ‘World's Ugliest Dog' settles in with forever family in Sonoma County

- Martha may have won this year's title at the Sonoma Marin Fair as the "World's Ugliest Dog," but perhaps it would be more appropriate to call her the "world's luckiest dog."

Only a month and a half ago, the incessantly drooling, droopy-faced Neapolitan Mastiff was an unwanted hound, being sold on Craigslist for about $100 in the Central Valley.

Today, she's living a comfortable, content life, surrounded by love and lying lazily among fruit trees in Sonoma County.

The dog's luck turned around when the sale ad on Craigslist caught the attention of Lucy Rockdale, an animal care worker in Tracy.

It was apparent to Rockdale that the dog suffered some type of health problem that was causing its eyes to look swollen and take on a pink hue.

So Rockdale reached out to her friend and fellow animal rescue worker, Shirley Zindler of Sebastopol.

An animal lover through and through, Zindler devotes much of her time working with animals in need.  

When she's not at her job with the Sonoma County shelter as an animal control officer, she's volunteering with the Dogwood Animal Rescue Project in Santa Rosa.

So she made sure to provide the lovable, easy going three-year-old dog a good foster home as efforts got under way to find her a forever home. And she made sure the dog got the medical care she needed.

Zindler took Martha to Township Animal Hospital in Windsor, where she underwent two surgeries to address problems with her eyes.

It turned out that the dog was dealing with a couple of issues including a condition called entropion which was leading to blindness in her right eye.

Martha's luck continued, when a family in Penngrove stepped up to take the dog in.

But before sending her off to her new home, Zindler came up with a last minute plan to enter the droopy eyed, drooling, baggy-skinned dog in the "World's Ugliest Dog" contest held last Friday.

That decision brought Martha worldwide fame as photos of the newly crowned "Ugliest Dog" was shared and circulated around the internet.

Martha even got a chance to go out to New York City, where she was invited to make an appearance on "The Today Show."

Things have quieted down a bit for Martha now, as she gets settled into her new life. 

On Thursday, KTVU visited the "World's Ugliest Dog" in her new 11-acre home in the North Bay community of Penngrove, where her new digs seem to be suiting her well. 

The Burkard family has welcomed Martha with open arms and call her a fun, wonderful addition.

The family says the darling and adorable pooch loves to lay under the fruit trees, play with water, and snore loudly.

Welcome home, Martha. 

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