This year’s Crufts’ winner may have been chosen, but mongrels and crossbreeds can look forward to their own special dog show

The RSPCA’s Dog of Year Show final takes place at the RSPCA’s Leybourne Centre near Maidstone, Kent on 7 September. The national event is open to every mongrel and cross-breed, regardless of age and size

Now in its 11th year, David Grant of the Harmsworth Animal Hospital in London and last year’s winner Ross, an Irish Wolfhound collie-cross from Stoke-On Trent, launched this year’s event.

The RSPCA Dog of the Year 2002 is supported by The Turtle Mat Company and more than 70 heats are being held around the country in a bid to find the UK’s top mongrel.

Unlike Kennel Club shows where dogs are judged according to their breed type and standard, the Dog of the Year finalists are chosen for their general condition, overall appearance and character.

Entries for all local heats will be taken on the day and each heat winner receives a mat from the Turtle Mat Company, plus a rosette. Runners up take home a personalised mobile phone cover kit from Photofone Ltd and a rosette.

The winner of the final, held at the Leybourne Centre will receive a commemorative trophy, rosette.

David Grant, who will be judging the final said: “With a high number of mongrels left at animal centres around the country every year, the RSPCA Dog of the Year is a fantastic opportunity for dogs and their owners to take centre stage and demonstrate that cross-breed dogs can make excellent pets.”

To find out about the local heats contact the RSPCA enquiries department (tel: 0870 333 5999).

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