'World's Ugliest Dog' Zsa Zsa passes away at age 9

Tragic news has emerged on the World's Ugliest Dog, Zsa Zsa: The bulldog, who just recently took the title at the end of June, passed away in her sleep at the age of 9. 

The pup was rescued from a puppy mill when she was 5, but had no reported health issues according to her owner. Megan Brainard, who adopted Zsa Zsa from Underdog Rescue, announced her death on Tuesday. 

"I'm sad to share that Zsa Zsa passed away in her sleep last night," Brainard said. 

PHOTOS: Inside the World's Ugliest Dog Competition

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World's Ugliest Dog 2018
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World's Ugliest Dog 2018
Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog, drools while competing in The World's Ugliest Dog Competition in Petaluma, north of San Francisco, California on June 23, 2018. - Zsa Zsa went on to win the competition garnering $1500, a trophy, and a trip to New York for media appearances. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Rascal Deux, a Chinese Crested, wears sunglasses while being held up by his owner Dane Andrew during The World's Ugliest Dog Competition in Petaluma, north of San Francisco, California on June 23, 2018. - The winner, Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog, took first prize and was awarded $1500, a trophy, and will be flown to New York for media appearances. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Mandarina walks on stage during The World's Ugliest Dog Competition in Petaluma, north of San Francisco, California on June 23, 2018. - Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog, went on to win the competition earning a $1500 prize, a trophy, and a trip to New York for media appearances. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Wild Thang, a Pekingese, walks on stage during The World's Ugliest Dog Competition in Petaluma, north of San Francisco, California on June 23, 2018. - Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog, took first prize and was awarded $1500, a trophy, and will be flown to New York for media appearances. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog, stands on stage after winning The World's Ugliest Dog Competition in Petaluma, north of San Francisco, California on June 23, 2018. - The winner is awarded $1500, a trophy, and is flown to New York for media appearances. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Himisaboo, a Chinese Crested Wiener mix, walks on stage during The World's Ugliest Dog Competition in Petaluma, north of San Francisco, California on June 23, 2018. - Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog, went on to win the competition earning a $1500 prize, a trophy, and a trip to New York for media appearances. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Heather Wilson (R) holds up her dog Himisaboo, a Chinese Crested Wiener Dog mix, during The World's Ugliest Dog Competition in Petaluma, north of San Francisco, California on June 23, 2018. - Zsa Zsa the english bulldog won first place and was awarded $1500, a trophy, and will be flown to New York for media appearances. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Last year's World's Ugliest Dog Competition winner Martha, a Neapolitan Mastiff, takes the stage before the new winner is announced in Petaluma, north of San Francisco, California on June 23, 2018. - Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog, went on to win the competition earning a $1500 prize, a trophy, and a trip to New York for media appearances. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Tee Tee, a Chinese Crested, is shown to judge Brian Sobel during The World's Ugliest Dog Competition in Petaluma, California on June 23, 2018. - Zsa Zsa the english bulldog won first place and was awarded $1500, a trophy, and will be flown to New York for media appearances. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog, takes the stage during The World's Ugliest Dog Competition in Petaluma, north of San Francisco, California on June 23, 2018. - Zsa Zsa won first place and was awarded $1500, a trophy, and will be flown to New York for media appearances. (Photo by JOSH EDELSON / AFP) (Photo credit should read JOSH EDELSON/AFP/Getty Images)
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Just a few weeks ago, the bulldog made headlines for beating out 13 other canines in the 30th annual World's Ugliest Dog competition, which aims to raise awareness on pet rescues and puppy mills. Zsa Zsa, with her protruding tongue, drool and pink talons, quickly warmed the judges' hearts. 

SEE ALSO: 9-year-old bulldog named Zsa Zsa crowned the World's Ugliest Dog

"She was eating part of a Slim Jim on the table and just sneezed all over them and was drooling on them," explained Brainard, who drove 30 hours from Missouri to enter beloved Zsa Zsa in the competition. 

"From the moment we saw her beautiful face, we knew we would be her forever home," her family had said. 

RELATED: Best dog breeds for kids 

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Best dog breeds for kids

Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

"The Cavalier King Charles Spaniel is a wonderful family pet; a gentle, calm dog, who is happy to be combed and brushed," says Dr. Emmett. "This breed is, however, less enthusiastic about games, such as tug of war, and rough-and-tumble play. King Charles Spaniels are a good match for a more urban lifestyle and a sensitive child." What does that wagging tail mean?

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Golden Retriever

"The Golden Retriever is one of the most well-known dogs because of their gentle, caring temperaments. They are able to lounge around the house for an afternoon or take a hike through the woods," says Pete Lands, DVM, Director of Emergency and Critical Care at Saint Francis Veterinary Center. Goldens are very bright and easy to train. They're also stoic when it comes to kids. "While they may not like it, Golden Retrievers tend to be apathetic to young kids pulling on their ears or tugging at their tails. This makes them one of the best family dogs you can find," he adds.

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Labrador Retriever 

They look large-and-in-charge, but Labs are famously child-friendly. "The Labrador Retriever is a reliable family pet," says Dr. Emmett. "This breed has an insatiable appetite for games and play and is well suited for an active outdoor lifestyle and a child who likes to run, throw balls, and play Frisbee." These are the most popular breed dogs in every state.

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Beagle

Cute as a button, sweet, and gentle, these pack animals thrive on companionship. According to the American Kennel Club, these charmers make excellent family dogs because they are loving by nature, love to play, and have goofy personalities. If you want a dog who wants to be with people, this is a great breed for your family. Pass Beagles up, however, if your house is always empty during the day.

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Irish Setter

Does your family love a good group jog or a game of beach Frisbee? If so, an Irish Setter will be the perfect fit for you. Regal to look at and energetic beyond words, this breed grows to be large, around 50 to 70 pounds and has a long lifespan, so they can grow up with your kids. Irish Setters make great companions, are wonderful with children, and have lively dispositions. They also love to play with toys and balls. Don't miss these secrets dog trainers won't tell you.

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French Bulldog

Frenchies, as they are affectionately known, are diminutive in size, but big in personality. Known for their affectionate natures and silly "bat" ears, French Bulldogs were bred to be companion dogs. The perfect family dog for apartment dwellers, Frenchies do well in small spaces, and love being around kids. French bulldogs also love getting dressed up for Halloween.

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Boxer

Make a Boxer part of your family, and you will never feel unprotected again. Fiercely loyal and protective of those who love them, these energetic, medium-sized dogs have calm dispositions, but love to play. They need lots of exercise, but beware of driving them too hard in hot weather. Like all squish-faced (Brachycephalic) dogs, they tend to overheat. Keep your pooch safe all summer long with these 28 warm-weather health tips for dogs.

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Cocker Spaniel

There's a definite possibility that Cocker Spaniels think they are people. They're gentle, loving, very smart, love being around children, and tend to always put themselves in the middle of the action. They also make great therapy dogs and may be a good fit for an anxious or special needs child. Their beautiful, floppy ears make them prone to ear infections, so keeping them clean and groomed is essential.

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Bichon Frise

These little bundles of low-shedding fur are some of the friendliest dogs on the planet. Sweet, affectionate, and playful, the Bichon Frise is a fantastic playmate for energetic children. Their small size makes them a great city dog, provided you give them lots of walks. According to Animal Planet, they're loyal to a fault and do best with consistent training and moderate amounts of activity. These are the dog breeds most compatible with your (or your child's) Zodiac sign.

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Collie

Rough Collies are known for their majestic, flowing coats, while smooth Collies have shorter coats. Rough or smooth, Collies make great family pets. (However, rough collies require more grooming.) This breed is incredibly intelligent and likes nothing better than to engage in activity with the children who love them. They're fast learners, loyal to their families, and protective. Just ask Lassie.

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Poodle

Have an allergic child? According to Health, Poodles might just be the ticket for you. While no dog is completely hypoallergenic, Poodles seem to come close, because they appear to produce fewer allergens. They also come in three sizes—standard, miniature, and toy—and an abundance of colors. These adorable goofballs are super-smart, easy to train, adapt well to new situations, and love kids. Here's your official guide to picking the best dog breed for you.

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Labradoodle

An intentional mix of Poodles and Labrador Retrievers, Labradoodles are as adorable as their name. A medium-shedder, Labradoodles were originally bred to be even-keeled and empathetic, so they could be trained as guide dogs for visually-impaired people. This breed couldn't be more affectionate, or more adorable. Note that they need lots of exercise and tend to get along great with other dogs.

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Pug

This Instagram-darling brings with it major cuddle-factor. Their cutie-patooty smiling faces and cozying-up tendencies make Pugs a popular favorite for children who prefer gentle play to roughhousing. These playful pups were bred to be lap dogsand adore being around people. They're clever, quiet, and make great family pets.

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Chihuahua

Long-haired or short, Chihuahuas are the tiniest of all dog breeds. They tend to adore children and are very loyal to their families. Chihuahuas love the indoors and are not fond of very cold weather, perhaps because they're thought to have originated in Mexico. They're easy to train and love the lap of the person who loves them best. Watch out for these secret signs that your dog is mad at you.

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Chug

Chugs are a specific breed comprised of Pug and Chihuahua ancestry. Many have the best characteristics of both popular breeds, making them great pets for children. According to Pet Guide, Chugs are a designer dog with characteristics that vary from liter to liter. Like their forebears, most will make good family dogs. They're loyal, affectionate, intelligent, and love to play.

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Havanese

This tiny charmer is the national dog of Cuba. They have exuberant personalities and adore people of all ages. Havanese dogs are very social and outgoing. A loving breed, they also enjoy playing games. They're a toy breed, so not a great fit for rough-and-tumble play, but they're perfect for families who are looking for a silly, outgoing friend for their child. Read on for the 50 secrets your pup won't tell you.

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Bull Terrier

Bull Terriers and Miniature Bull Terriers make fantastic pets for older kids. They are sweet beyond belief, very protective, and very trainable. The American Kennel Club calls them mischievous, playful, and charming. Known for their silly, comical antics, and crowd-pleasing behavior, Bull Terriers need lots of exercise and lots of love.

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