The first-ever American Rescue Dog show celebrates adopted pets who are the best snorers, sleepers and eaters

By Kelli Bender
February 16, 2018 09:52 AM

The 142nd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show, America’s second-longest continuously held sporting event, just wrapped up, crowning Flynn the Bichon Frise as winner.

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.

For 142 years, rescue dogs have been waiting for their own moment to strut their stuff and it has finally come. On Feb. 19, the Hallmark Channel will air its first American Rescue Dog Show.

The adorable event will feature shelter dogs from a plethora of breeds and mixes. As long as you’re a rescue dog, you can compete. The 2018 American Rescue Dog Show is hosted by Rebecca Romijn and Rich Eisen, and will also feature celebrity judges like Linda Blair, Rick Springfield, Brandon McMillan, Ross Matthews and more. The Hallmark Channel’s favorite dog, Happy, will also be on-hand as the show’s official mascot.

Credit: Courtesy 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 top 10 dogs from these groups will face off for the night’s biggest award: Best in Rescue. The Petco Foundation is providing $75,000 in non-profit grants to the winners.

Credit: Courtesy 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.

Credit: Courtesy Hallmark Channel

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Along with watching the dogs compete, viewers will also be treated to touching stories about the pooch players and what odds they overcame to end up in their loving forever homes.

Keep the dog show delights coming and celebrate the magic of pet adoption by tuning into the 2018 American Rescue Dog Show on Feb. 19 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on the Hallmark Channel.