Hallmark Channel Gives Rescue Dogs Their Own Version of the Westminster Dog Show

Photo: Hallmark Channel

For well over a century, rescue dogs have been maligned and slighted from entry to the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. The show dog world has traditionally existed as an absurd universe onto itself – famously parodied by Christopher Guest’s Best in Show. Though some may not know it, mixed breed dogs are allowed at the Westminster Dog Show, as long as they’re competing in the agility competition, the one portion of the show event that is not reserved for purebred canines only.

Photo: Hallmark Channel

The dozens of dogs competing in the first-of-its-kind doggy showdown will be vying to win a range of adorable groups, from Best in Wiggle Butt to Best in Snoring. The ten winners of their categories then faced off in the final round of Best in Rescue. In the end, the affable and irresistible 11-year-old Jackie, who won the Best in Senior Dog category, was awarded the grand Best in Rescue prize. The glorious title comes with $25,000 donated to A Purposeful Rescue. Jackie was left at a shelter when she was ten years old and hours before she was scheduled to be euthanized, her family rescued her. This bedtime snuggler is reputed to lavish affection on everyone she meets and enjoys afternoon swim sessions.

Photo: Hallmark Channel

“It’s such an incredible idea for a show. It’s a chance to encourage people to ‘adopt, not shop,’ to showcase these unbelievable creatures and help end the epidemic of animal homelessness. A lot of people may not understand that there are so many beautiful dogs, pure breeds as well as mixed breeds, who need to be rescued,” Romijn told PEOPLE about American Rescue Dog Show.

“We are proud to honor rescue pets and raise awareness of how truly special these animals are,” said Bill Abbott, President and CEO, Crown Media Family Networks. “There are beautiful animals available at local shelters and we encourage our viewers to choose adoption through our pet programming, which is at the heart of our brand.”

Photo: Hallmark Channel

Every day, thousands of animals across the United States are euthanized because shelters don’t have the capacity or resources to care for them until these animals can find forever homes. The American Rescue Dog Show raises awareness about an important issue facing this country. It’s wonderful to see a network dedicate prime-time hours to helping animals in need.

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