The dog won the ugliness title at a contest last month in Petaluma, California. Zsa Zsa's fans even wore shirts with her face on them.
Brainard said the dog was staying with her father and he found she had passed away when he got up in the morning.
She said: "I picked Zsa Zsa up and took her outside and laid her down in the grass".
"From the moment we saw her handsome face, we knew we would be her forever home", her owners said in a statement on the contest's website. She bested 13 other dogs to claim the top spot.
"From the moment we saw her lovely face, we knew we would be her forever home", Brainard said. She was purchased by a rescue group after spending the first five years of her life in a Missouri puppy mill.
As we noted about the annual contest, its organizers say that it's meant to show how lovable and unique all dogs are, regardless of what some people might view as imperfections.