The criteria the dogs are judged on include audience reaction, first impressions and unusual attributes.
Martha's win sees her owner, Shirley Zindler, walk away with $1,500 (1,340 euros), a shiny trophy and a trip to NY for media appearances for her and her pooch.
"She bosses the other dogs around and makes sure all guests are suitably slimed on arrival". The contest starts at 6 p.m. Friday at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in California.
Martha was taken in by the Dogwood Rescue Group in Sebastapol and had several surgeries to restore her sight.
She beat out 13 other dogs, majority much older and much smaller. In third place was a 14-year-old Chinese Crested-Harke mix named Chase.
"Look at her: she's about 300 pounds of skin on 100 pounds of dog", judge Brian Sobel said of Martha.
Moe, a 16-year-old Brussels Griffon-pug mix, and the oldest dog in the competition, came in second, the Associated Press reported.
Although, some may think it's cruel to enter a dog into such a contest, Zindler says it's actually all about promoting rescuing and adopting dogs that aren't "traditionally handsome". But for their owners, it was love at first sight.
The annual event brings together the most unattractive hounds from all over the world and this year's contest is no different.
Now Martha, whom Burkard, 29, calls "adorable", has become all the rage on social media and is headed to NY to appear on "The Today Show".
Second prize is always presented to a dog and their owner who have overcome particularly hard obstacles or who provide a special service to their community.
This is the 29th year the contest is being held at the Sonoma-Marin Fair.