ST. CHARLES, Mo., Jan. 23, 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- Now in its 16th year, the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin, the largest dog show in North America, will broadcast a three-hour special on Hallmark Channel Monday, January 23, 2017 from 6-9 p.m. ET/PT featuring more than 5,000 dog entries vying for the title of "Best in Show," as well as a special appearance by celebrity guest Jerry O'Connell.
"I love all my pets – we're a family, which is why I was so excited to be part of the AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin," said O'Connell. "As a lifelong dog-lover, getting to see some of the most magnificent dogs in the world and learning about new breeds and the amazing things they can do made this a truly unique and special experience."
Joining O'Connell in the show lineup is AKC Vice President Gina DiNardo, sideline reporter Sam Ryan and sportscaster Jason Knapp. The televised broadcast, which was taped in Orlando, Fla. in December 2016, will feature winners from each of the competition categories, highlights from the Agility and Diving Dog competitions and some of America's brightest up and coming Junior Showmanship handlers, culminating in the announcement of Best in Show.
"The AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin is a gathering of the most beautiful and prestigious dogs in the world," said Keith Levy, Royal Canin USA President. "We are looking forward to sharing their show experience with viewers on Hallmark Channel and encourage everyone to tune-in and meet the magnificent AKC breeds this year."
Dennis Sprung, President and CEO of the AKC, added: "Our national championship is a wonderful display of the importance of the canine-human bond. We are pleased to show the world what the best canine athletes have to offer."
The AKC National Championship is also welcoming pet-related companies to the broadcast mix. For the first time, this year's broadcast will feature a line-up of new sponsors including PetSmart, Banfield Pet Hospital and Spectrum Brands' FURminator and Nature's Miracle. Their stores, hospitals and products represent an assortment of highly valued goods and services by pet parents. The fit for these brands with the AKC National Championship is natural and will provide an even greater viewing experience for dog lovers.
"With more than 15,000 dog breeders and influencers involved, the show and now the television broadcast, presents opportunities that breeders, groomers, trainers, retailers, veterinarians, dog owners and puppy seekers will all find valuable," said Kamie Eckert, Chief Customer Officer for Royal Canin. "We are excited that PetSmart, Banfield Pet Hospital and Spectrum Brands are a part of this endeavor and we are honored to share in this experience with them."
In addition, viewers can treat their dogs to the Best in Show experience through the "Best in Show" sweepstakes. The sweepstakes winner's package includes a $250 PetSmart gift card, one year of ROYAL CANIN® dog food, a wellness package from Banfield Pet Hospital and the chance to see the 2017 AKC National Championship presented by Royal Canin in-person. To enter visit www.royalcanin.com/events/akc-2016.
ABOUT ROYAL CANIN USA
Royal Canin USA is a leader in science-based cat and dog health nutrition. Founded by a veterinarian in 1968, Royal Canin has more than 40 years of experience in delivering individualized nutritional solutions. In collaboration with an expert team of nutritionists, breeders and veterinarians from around the world, Royal Canin places cats and dogs at the central point of the innovation process. The Royal Canin product line offers a range of diets based on size, age, breed, lifestyle and therapeutic requirements. Royal Canin diets are available at veterinary hospitals and pet specialty stores nationwide. Royal Canin is a subsidiary of Mars, Incorporated. To learn more about Royal Canin, visit www.royalcanin.com and "LIKE" us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/royalcaninus.
ABOUT THE AMERICAN KENNEL CLUB
Founded in 1884, the American Kennel Club is a not-for-profit organization which maintains the largest registry of purebred dogs in the world and oversees the sport of purebred dogs in the United States. The AKC is dedicated to upholding the integrity of its registry, promoting the sport of purebred dogs and breeding for type and function. Along with its more than 5,000 licensed and member clubs and its affiliated organizations, the AKC advocates for the purebred dog as a family companion, advances canine health and well-being, works to protect the rights of all dog owners and promotes responsible dog ownership. More than 22,000 competitions for AKC-registered purebred dogs are held under AKC rules and regulations each year including conformation, agility, obedience, rally, tracking, herding, lure coursing, coonhound events, hunt tests, field and earthdog tests. Affiliate AKC organizations include the AKC Humane Fund, AKC Canine Health Foundation, AKC Reunite and the AKC Museum of the Dog. For more information, visit www.akc.org.
AKC, American Kennel Club, the American Kennel Club seal and design, and all associated marks and logos are trademarks, registered trademarks and service marks of The American Kennel Club, Inc.
Become a fan of the American Kennel Club on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter @AKCDogLovers.
PetSmart, Inc. is the largest specialty pet retailer of services and solutions for the lifetime needs of pets. At PetSmart, we love pets, and we believe pets make us better people. Every day with every connection, PetSmart's passionate associates help bring pet parents closer to their pets so they can live more fulfilled lives. This vision impacts everything we do for our customers, the way we support our associates and how we give back to our communities. We employ approximately 55,000 associates, operate approximately 1,500 pet stores in the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico and 204 in-store PetSmart® PetsHotel® dog and cat boarding facilities. PetSmart provides a broad range of competitively priced pet food and pet products and offers dog training, pet grooming, pet boarding, PetSmart Doggie Day Camp day care services and pet adoption services in-store. Our portfolio of digital resources for pet parents – including PetSmart.com, PetFoodDirect.com, Pet360.com and petMD.com – offers the most comprehensive online pet supplies and pet care information in the U.S. Through our in-store pet adoption partnership with independent nonprofit organizations, PetSmart Charities® and PetSmart Charities™ of Canada, PetSmart helps to save the lives of more than 500,000 homeless pets each year.
ABOUT BANFIELD PET HOSPITAL
Founded in Portland, Ore. in 1955, Banfield is the largest general veterinary practice in the world. In 2007, Banfield joined the Mars, Inc. family of businesses, and today it has more than 950 hospitals in neighborhoods across the United States and Puerto Rico. More than 3,200 veterinarians at Banfield are committed to giving pets the highest quality of veterinary care. Banfield hospitals offer a full range of comprehensive medical services, computerized medical records, preventive care plans for pets and extended operating hours. Banfield Pet Hospital provides preventive care for millions of pets each year through Optimum Wellness Plans®. For journalists seeking more information, contact the Media Hotline at 888-355-0595.
ABOUT SPECTRUM BRANDS
Spectrum Brands Holdings, a member of the Russell 1000 Index, is a global and diversified consumer products company and a leading supplier of consumer batteries, residential locksets, residential builders' hardware, plumbing, shaving and grooming products, personal care products, small household appliances, specialty pet supplies, lawn and garden and home pest control products, personal insect repellents, and auto care products. Helping to meet the needs of consumers worldwide, our Company offers a broad portfolio of market-leading, well-known and widely trusted brands including Rayovac®, VARTA®, Kwikset®, Weiser®, Baldwin®, National Hardware®, Pfister®, Remington®, George Foreman®, Black + Decker®, Tetra®, Marineland®, Nature's Miracle®, Dingo®, 8-in-1®, FURminator®, IAMS®, Eukanuba®, Healthy-Hide®, Digest-eeze™, Littermaid®, Spectracide®, Cutter®, Repel®, Hot Shot®, Black Flag®, Liquid Fence®, Armor All®, STP® and A/C PRO®. Spectrum Brands' products are sold in approximately 160 countries. Spectrum Brands Holdings generated net sales of approximately $5.04 billion in fiscal 2016. For more information, visit www.spectrumbrands.com.
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SOURCE Royal Canin