World's Ugliest Dog contest winner Zsa Zsa dies

ANOKA, Minnesota (WABC) -- A dog that became famous for her looks has died just weeks after being crowned the World's Ugliest Dog.

English bulldog Zsa Zsa passed away in her sleep in Minnesota. She was 9 years old.

The American Kennel Club says the breed's lifespan is typically 8 to 10 years.

RELATED: Bulldog named Zsa Zsa wins World's Ugliest Dog contest

Zsa Zsa began life as an underdog, spending five years in a puppy mill before she was rescued.

With her floppy tongue, crooked teeth and pink manicure, she won the annual contest on June 23 at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma, California, taking home the $1,500 cash prize.

At the time, her owner, Megan Brainard, said couldn't be happier.

"She is so beautiful in my eyes," she said.

Brainard says Zsa Zsa never really showed much excitement, but that she knew she was special. She said the dog was staying with her father, and he found she had passed away when he got up in the morning.

Judging was based not just on appearance, but personality, too, which Zsa Zsa had in spades. She was was one of 14 contestants vying to be ugliest.

Dogs in the annual competition flaunt their imperfections. The contestants included a blackhead-covered Chinese Crested-Dachshund mutt, a bulldog mix with excess wrinkly skin and a Pekingese named Wild Thang.

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