Proud pet owners will get the chance to parade their handsome hamsters, devoted dogs, and plucky ponies to the nation, as the RSPCA pet show goes virtual.
Part of the charity’s One Fun Day, is a chance to showcase the work of its centres and branches and raise much needed funds, this year a national champion will be chosen by a panel of judges live on Zoom on 14 June.
Any pet is welcome, whether furry, feathered or scaly, and owners can enter them in one of 30 local pet shows across England and Wales, being run by the RSPCA centres and branches. Twelve finalists will then be chosen to compete in the grand final, which will be streamed live.
The pet show will be held alongside a packed programme of local and national virtual events, from pilates with Verity Bowditch from E4’s Made in Chelsea, live Q&As with an RSPCA inspector, dog treat baking masterclass with DJ and radio presenter Kate Lawler and her dog Boj, a chat about small furries with CBBC’s Rory the vet and much more.
The virtual fundraising event reflects how charities like the RSPCA are having to think outside the box to raise desperately-needed funds during the Covid pandemic so they can continue rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming the animals who need them most.
RSPCA Chief Executive Chris Sherwood, who will be judging the final with actor and influencer Sophie Craig, said: “This is a really exciting event and we’re thrilled to be able to find different ways to get people involved with us and showcase the amazing work of our branches and centres.
“We’re so pleased our supporters like Kate Lawler, Verity Bowditch, Rory the Vet and Sophie Craig have come on board to make this virtual event a success. We’re all living in different times and charities like us have been really badly affected. Our fundraising income has been hit hard but at the same time there are as many animals as ever who need our help so we’ve had to be even more creative when coming up with ways for people to support our vital work.
“This event will bring some much-needed light relief, with great fun interactive events, some adorable pets and a chance to raise money for animals in need. I’m really looking forward to seeing all the finalists although I already know it’s going to be tough to pick a winner."
The pet show is not being judged on looks but is all about celebrating pets’ happiness, health, behaviour and the amazing bond we have with them and there is a class for any pet. Classes cost £2 per entry.
Chris added: “Pets have been a vital lifeline to many people during lockdown in particular, when people have been under strain and unable to see friends and family. We know how many consider their animals to be a member of the family and the bond between pets and their owners is so special. We want to celebrate these relationships and the amazing things our animals can do.”
The pet show classes are:
1. Best Rescue: The embodiment of why we #adoptdontshop
2. Best Trick: A video or link to the trick you both most enjoy to perform together
3. Grooviest Mover: Let's see your animal's best moves
4. Sleeping beauty: Either the picture of serenity, or having an amazing dream all animals need their beauty sleep
5. Best friends (2 or more animals): Are your pets inseparable? Identical twins or the original odd couple? Two or more to show love knows know boundaries
6. Golden Oldie: Your much loved, mature animal friend in their autumn years
7. Best baby: Here's looking at you, kid. Your best, bonnie baby
8. Amazing transformations: Just look at you now! What you can achieve together with patience, hard work, love and dedication.
9. Perfectly Imperfect: Why we never judge a book by it's cover!
10. Peas in a pod: Pets that look most like their owners
11. Joie de Vivre: Animals in love with life and not ashamed to show it
12. Best Companion: Celebrating the special bond between animals and their human friends
13. Animal Artwork: Doodles of your doggy or pictures of your python? Unleash your inner artist for our animal-inspired art show.
The pet shows are happening at various times up to and including the 14 June and owners can take part by finding their nearest show on the interactive map at www.rspca.org.uk/onefunday. A full schedule of national and regional virtual events can also be found on the site.