PETALUMA, Calif. — A 10-year-old mutt named Quasi Modo, whose spinal birth defects left him a bit hunchbacked, is the winner of this year's World's Ugliest Dog contest.
The pit bull-Dutch shepherd mix and his owner took the $1,500 prize Friday night, besting 25 other dogs competing in the contest that applauds imperfection, organizers said.
Quasi Modo was abandoned at an animal shelter before being adopted by a veterinarian in Loxahatchee, Florida, according to his biography posted on the contest's website.
"My appearance can be a little unsettling to some (I have had grown men jump on top of their cars to get away from me because they thought I was a hyena or Tasmanian devil) but once they get to know me I win them over with my bubbly personality," his biography said.
Two Chinese crested and Chihuahua mixes named Sweepee Rambo and Frodo took the second- and third-place prizes, respectively.
An 8-year-old Chihuahua named Precious received the "spirit award," honoring a dog and owner who have overcome obstacles and/or are providing service to the community. Precious, who is blind in one eye, is trained to monitor smells related to low blood sugar levels and alert her owner, a disabled veteran, of the problem, her biography said.
The contest, held at the Sonoma-Marin Fairgrounds in Petaluma, California, is in its 27th year.
The dogs are scored by a three-judge panel in several categories, including special or unusual attributes, personality and natural ugliness.