Zsa Zsa, known for her pink toenails and lolling side-swept tongue, died in her sleep on Tuesday morning.
Brainard told TODAY that Zsa Zsa's passing was "devastating".
The pup - whose name was inspired by Zsa Zsa Gabor - earned the honor in large part to her unique long tongue, overbite and broad body.
"She's been staying over at my dad's house".
Zsa Zsa the 9-year-old English bulldog stops by 'Fox & Friends'.
Zsa Zsa, an English Bulldog, is carried by owner Megan Brainard during the World's Ugliest Dog Contest at the Sonoma-Marin Fair in Petaluma, Calif., Saturday, June 23, 2018.
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Zsa Zsa was about nine years old when she passed away, which is about the life expectancy for the breed.
Zsa Zsa's family held a farewell ceremony for her in their back yard.
'We were all saying our goodbyes and Mareslie went right over and gave her a kiss.
Though it may seem a dubious honor, the Ugliest Dog contest seeks to demonstrate "the importance of advocating for the adoration of all animals", according to its website.
"She knew she was special". Her family took home $1,500.
The contest sounds more negative than it is - its objective is to raise awareness of pet adoption and to show that all dogs are handsome in their own way, and worthy of love.