Kit Steinkellner
June 28, 2015 10:04 am

While the “World’s Ugliest Dog Award” doesn’t sound like a prize ANYONE would want their precious pup to win,  in fact,  the competition, which has been held in Petaluma,California for the past 27 years, has actually become an incredible way to honor dogs who don’t necessarily fit the fluffy, cuddly, conventionally adorable mold.

Case in point, this year’s winner Quasi Modo, a ten-year old pit bull-Dutch shepherd mix, like her literary/Disney movie namesake, was born with a spinal defect.

“I was abandoned at an animal shelter and because of my strange looks life was looking pretty grim,” Quasi explains in her bio on the competition website. “Luckily, one of the veterinarians there saw the sparkle in my eyes and took me home. I have multiple birth defects to my spine. My back is too short for the rest of my body and the parts went together in the worst possible way. In spite of this I still run, play and enjoy life to the fullest.”

Although Quasi now has a loving home, she still has a tough go of it sometimes because of her looks.

“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. I love to meet new people and teach them about diversity. I have become a great ambassador for teaching people about acceptance and tolerance for things that are different. You should never judge a book by its cover! Just because an animal or person looks different doesn’t mean they’re any less deserving of love. It’s OK to be different.”

We love this sweet pup and the beautiful message she’s spreading, and we’re so glad this good girl and her loving family were rewarded with the grand prize ($1500, not bad, Quasi and Co, not bad at all). In Quasi’s case, it’s not just OK to be different, it’s everything that’s different about Quasi Modo that makes her a big-time award-winner! Congrats to this awesome dog and her much-deserved victory!

Images via, via, via