ABC’s ‘The American Rescue Dog Show’ aims to encourage pet adoption

The Westminster Dog show highlights the best and brightest of the upper echelon of dogs, but how many people actually have a show dog at home? What about all the rescue dogs — when do they get to shine?

Fear not, “The American Rescue Dog Show” is back to highlight our furry friends of all lineage.

Michael Levitt Productions — helmed by Palm Springs resident Michael Levitt — brings the TV special “The American Rescue Dog Show” to ABC on Wednesday, May 25. The special, which first aired in 2018, is a riff on “The Westminster Dog Show,” but all the competing dogs are rescues.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ website, over 3.1 million dogs enter shelters each year. Of these over 390,000 are euthanized. While that number is devastating, it is down from over 2.6 million in 2011, so progress is being made. This decline can be partially explained by an increase in the percentage of animals adopted and an increase in the number of stray animals successfully returned to their owners.

Palm Springs resident Michael Levitt, executive producer of the TV program, poses with one of the pups featured on

The good news, however, is that over 2 million dogs find their forever homes each year.

“The American Rescue Dog Show” is a two-hour joyous celebration of these four-legged friends. Rescue pups will compete for such honors as “Best in Belly Rubs,” “Best in Snoring,” and “Best in Underbite,” to name just a few. The winners from each category will then compete to be crowned “Best in Rescue” of 2022.

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