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 US prize Friday night, besting 25 other dogs competing in the contest that celebrates imperfection, organizers said.

Quasi Modo was abandoned at an animal shelter before being adopted by a veterinarian in Loxahatchee, Fla., according to her 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," her biography said.

APTOPIX Ugly Dog Contest

Sweepee Rambo, a 16-year-old Chinese Crested dog, won the runner-up award. (Noah Berger/Associated Press)

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," honouring a dog and owner who have overcome obstacles 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, Calif., 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.