Sure, I tuned in to the prestigious Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show earlier this month and celebrated all the adorable winners. But earlier this week, I fell equally as in love with the mischievous mutts competing in Hallmark Channel's third-annual American Rescue Dog Show. Instead of being judged on physical appearance, obedience, and athletic skill, these pups were awarded titles like "Best in Snoring," "Best Couch Potato," and "Best in Wiggling." And best of all? All the very good boys and girls had previously been adopted from animal rescues and shelters.
If these furry faces leave you inspired to find ways to help shelter animals, Hallmark Channel has made it easy to get started. Enter your zip code and preferences on Hallmark’s site to be paired with dogs, cats, and other animals in shelters near you. And if you're not ready to adopt a pet right now, you can still get involved! See the full list of all the rescue organizations represented at the show and research how you can donate or volunteer at one near you.
Best in Belly Rubs and Best in Rescue: Sugar
Sugar was saved from a shelter in Riverside, California, by a rescue called The Furgotten. Her owners Kimberly and Chris originally agreed to foster Sugar with the intent of finding someone else to adopt her, but it quickly became clear she was their forever dog. According to Hallmark Channel, they don’t think of her as a foster failure, they call her a “foster win.”
Best in Couch Potato: Spencer
Spencer was rescued by Southern California Afghan Hound Rescue and adopted by his owner Helen, who has nicknamed him “Velcro Boy” because he’s always stuck to her side. His favorite treat? Cold cucumbers.
Best in Ears: Daisy
After seeing her photo, it’s no surprise that Daisy won the "Best in Ears" category. Her owner Heidi reports that her ears never go down: They can turn in unison or separately, and occasionally they touch at the top of her head. Heidi rescued Daisy from MaeDay Rescue.
Best in Senior: Goliath
Goliath is the perfect example of why you should adopt a senior pet. When his owner Tye adopted him from Reversed Rescue, Goliath had been abandoned by his first family and wasn’t eating. After Tye nursed him back to health, he said this was the first dog he’d seen that seems to age backwards with love and care. Goliath has his own room with a queen-size bed and stands taller than any human he’s met (so far).
Best in Snoring: Faith
Faith was adopted by her owner Kyle after being rescued by I Stand With My Pack. It’s no secret why Faith won this category: Kyle reports that Faith snores deeply enough to make her lips flap, and she even snores with her eyes open. Now that’s talent!
Best in Special Needs: Champion
Champion was available for adoption at the Helen Woodward Animal Shelter for only five minutes before his future owner Dana walked in and adopted him right away. Missing a leg doesn’t stop Champion from living his best life with his new family: When someone walks through the door, Champion stands on his hind legs ready to greet them.
Best in Talking: Maximus
Maximus was adopted from The Ranch Rescue Team and since then has been keeping busy by playing in the pool and destroying tennis balls. His owner Stephanie says Maximus loves to "talk" and is friendly to everyone he meets.
Best in Underbite: Ravioli
When Carlos and his husband walked into the Animal Care Centers of NYC they immediately fell in love with Ravioli. Today, he goes to the park often where strangers often comment on his underbite. When he isn’t lounging around or going on walks, Ravioli loves to have his fur blow-dried.
Best in Wiggling: Maizy
Originally found wandering the streets of Mexico, Maizy was rescued by Compassion Without Borders and taken to a shelter in California. Her future owner Karen was there when Maizy was brought in, and they’ve been together ever since. When Karen comes home, Maizy's wiggle turns into a full-body twirl.
Best in Wrinkles: Big Rig
Big Rig was born with a cleft palate, and he was surrendered to Road Dogs and Rescue at just five weeks old. When his owner Francoise adopted him, she had to hand feed him for eight months. Luckily, this pup started eating and drinking on his own, and he's well on the road to recovery.