The two-night “2019 American Rescue Dog Show” begins at 8 p.m. Sunday evening on Hallmark Channel, with an additional night and hour of programming and three new categories in the personality-driven competition.
Sunday evening’s broadcast includes competition in the three new categories — “Best in Short ‘n Sweet,” “Best in Belly Rubs” and “Best in Smiling” — along with two returning categories, “Best in Snoring” and “Best in Senior Dog.”
Competition Monday will be in “Best in Talking,” “Best in Underbite,” “Best in Special Needs,” “Best in Couch Potato” and “Best in Wiggle Butt.”
The top 10 dogs will then compete to be crowned “Best in Rescue.”
Breeds competing include Afghan hounds, corgis, golden retrievers and huskies.
In addition to celebrating rescue dogs, the “American Rescue Dog Show” also seeks to inspire viewers to adopt their next dog from their local shelter or rescue organization, according to Maria Fischer, Hallmark Channel’s director of network program publicity.
The show, taped at Fairplex in Pomona, is hosted by actress Rebecca Romijn and her husband, actor Jerry O’Connell. Romijn is ambassador for Hallmark Channel’s pet initiative, “Adoption Ever After.”
Ross Mathews and Larissa Wohl are co-hosts. Guest judges are pet rescue advocates Bill Berloni, Debbie Gibson, Brandon McMillan, Mike Rowe and Lisa Vanderpump.
The Pedigree Foundation will provide $100,000 in grants to the winners’ shelters or rescue organizations.
Hallmark Channel expanded the “American Rescue Dog Show” from three hours over one night to four hours over two nights after the inaugural 2018 edition beat the famed Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in the ratings, Fischer told City News Service.
The “2019 American Rescue Dog Show” is an element of Hallmark Channel’s “Adoption Ever After,” an effort to raise awareness for shelter animals, dismantle common misconceptions about shelter animals, provide resources, inspire the public to adopt and end the epidemic of pet homelessness.
Other elements of “Adoption Ever After” include the American Humane Hero Dog Awards, which airs annually in October, the Cat Bowl, which airs the day before the Super Bowl, and the Kitten Bowl, which airs on Super Bowl Sunday.
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