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Contenders in the 2020 American Rescue Dog Show

  • Contenders in the 2020 American Rescue Dog Show

    More than 4 million dogs and cats are adopted from animal shelters each year in the United States, according to Best Friends Animal Society, the largest no-kill animal sanctuary in the country. That number represents about 77% of the animals arriving in shelters every year—733,000 of whom were euthanized in 2019 simply because they weren’t adopted.

    To shine a light on the urgent need for more adoptions around the country, the Hallmark Channel decided three years ago to host the first-ever “American Rescue Dog Show” starring a wide variety of dogs from every ilk. The first two-night event, hosted by Rebecca Romijn and other celebrities, was such a success it outperformed America’s longest-running purebred competition—so Hallmark continued it.

    An average of 1.1 million viewers and 3.7 million unduplicated viewers watched the telecast again in 2019, proving mixed mutts are just as popular as purebreds in America’s eyes. Categories like Best in Ears, Snoring, Belly Rubs, and Underbite stole the hearts of a huge social media audience, who kept the event trending for two days. This year is expected to be no different.

    Stacker partnered with the Hallmark Channel’s 2020 American Rescue Dog Show to showcase the 72 incredible pups competing in this year's event. Along with information about each canine’s favorite toy, treat, and activity, other details and pictures of the mostly four-legged contenders introduce each dog to America before the votes are cast. From fun facts to heartbreaking rescue stories, choosing a winner among the many once-abandoned pups will certainly be a challenge.

    Read on to find out more about the 72 incredible pups in the Hallmark Channel 2020 American Rescue Dog Show—and be sure to tune in to the Hallmark Channel at 8 p.m. Feb. 16 and 17 to see all the adorable action.

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  • Apache

    - Category: Belly rubs
    - Adopted from: Compassion Without Borders

    Once Apache blinked those baby blues at a foster dog event in Santa Rosa, California, it was all over for Pam. Since rescuing Apache, who loves toy slippers and tennis balls, Apache’s human discovered this pup is a serious sucker for belly rubs, even turning over at car dealerships for a little tummy love.

  • Chubs

    - Category: Belly rubs
    - Adopted from: Shelter Hope Pet Shop

    Since being rescued from a backyard breeder by Heidi, the founder of Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUP), and her husband, Chubs now helps ease LAX travelers' anxiety before they board their flights. Between the love of belly rubs and the adorable underbite, Chubs has cheered up many passengers, who find if they stop rubbing the pug's potbelly, she will quickly nudge them to continue.

  • Clyde

    - Category: Belly rubs
    - Adopted from: Los Angeles Animal Services

    Once a month, Clyde (a Newfoundland sidekick to Bonnie, an Italian mastiff/shepherd) walks through the halls of Children’s Hospital Los Angeles to give children staying there a reason to smile. To date, Clyde has visited more than 10,000 patients. When not working as a certified therapy dog, Clyde sits windward, balancing the sailboat his human dad Michael races.

  • Joey

    - Category: Belly rubs
    - Adopted from: I Dream of Home Rescue

    Small, white, and fluffy, Joey gives other canines a run for their money by being bold enough to approach strangers and ask for some tummy love. Rescued off the streets of Pomona, California, Joey also adores Alpo T-Bonz for a treat when he is not munching his meals (which he prefers to take lying down).

  • Rio

    - Category: Belly rubs
    - Adopted from: Sunny Day Acres

    When she’s not playing with stuffed toys, “gentle giant” Rio loves going for hikes. Once frightened and shy, the Anatolian shepherd now makes dramatic drops to the floor for belly rubs and has become the family companion that completes the clan perfectly.

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  • Romeo

    - Category: Belly rubs
    - Adopted from: Samoyed Rescue of Southern California, Inc.

    Romeo enjoys long rides in the car, bugging bees, and begging for belly rubs. You can find her wading chest-deep in the backyard pond after a walk or playing tug-of-war with his owner Taylor, who rescued him in 2017.

  • Sugar

    - Category: Belly rubs
    - Adopted from: The Furgotten

    After giving birth to three puppies, Sugar ended up in a foster home for more than a year waiting for a permanent family. Once rescued, Sugar’s sweet side emerged mainly with the male dogs she flirts with (when not snuggling with her owner, naturally). The best kind of love for Sugar is belly rubs, making her the seventh and final contender in the category.

  • Abby

    - Category: Couch potato
    - Adopted from: Sunny Saints, Southern California Saint Bernard Rescue

    There was just something about Abby, according to her person Pam, who said she knew she must have her, even after meeting throngs of dogs as the owner of a rescue shelter. Now an ambassador for Sunny Saints, the couch potato dog will even sleep through large-scale dog adoption events surrounded by hundreds of patrons. Unlike her category peers, Abby adores bananas over prime rib.

  • Atlas

    - Category: Couch potato
    - Adopted from: LA County Castaic Animal Care Center

    When Atlas is not sleeping belly-up on the couch with his feet in the air, he works hard as a Pet Partners-registered therapy dog. His owner Nicole, who fell in love with him while volunteering at a shelter, enjoys taking him to the mall to meet shoppers. What she doesn’t like is stepping out of the shower to find her towel stolen off the rack by Atlas, who loves doing the trick as much he loves devouring his freeze-dried liver treats.

  • Bill

    - Category: Couch potato
    - Adopted from: Best Friends Animal Society NKLA

    When Stefanie first saw Bill isolated in a cage after being rescued from the Palm Springs desert, she had no idea he would teach the breast cancer survivor the resilience she needed to heal. Now a bona fide couch potato who loves chicken chews, Bill also likes to have his picture taken. Before Stefanie and Bill step out, the canine slips into a T-shirt, which he loves to wear.

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