PETALUMA, Calif. (AP) — A 10-year-old mutt named Quasi Modo, whose spinal birth defects left her a bit hunchbacked, is the winner of this year's World's Ugliest Dog contest.
The pit bull-Dutch shepherd mix and her owner took the $1,500 prize Friday night, besting 25 other dogs competing in the contest that applauds imperfection, organizers said.
And though the name might make you think of the Quasimodo character in the Victor Hugo tale "The Hunchback of Notre Dame," this dog is female, not male as some thought.
Karen Spencer, marketing director for the Sonoma-Marin Fair, said she was notified Friday night by Quasi Modo's owner that the world's newly crowned ugliest dog is a she, and not a he.
Quasi Modo was abandoned at an animal shelter before being adopted by a veterinarian in Loxahatchee, Florida, according to her biography posted on the contest's website.
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, 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.