IJA Leading the Way - Rescue Me Competitions

Vivian Nash, owner of Nash Academy Dog Grooming School, competition  judge and founder of the International Judges Association for Dog Grooming Competitions, recognized many rescue type competitions were designed for the experienced competitors with no classes offered for beginners or novice groomers with basic skills. She also realized many rescue events only accepted coated dogs that could be styled by the most experienced competitors. In an effort to create an arena for all pets with all coat types and all competitors with all levels of expertise, she formed the IJA Rescue Me Event Team dedicated to making a difference because of their love of dogs.



  • IJA Sanctioned Rescue Me Competitions must offer a place in the ring for all dogs with the concept No Dog Left Behind.

  • IJA Sanctioned Rescue Me Competitions must offer a place for all competitors with the concept Expert to New we have a Place for You.



To create a rescue competition for all levels of expertise, we categorize dogs by coat types and then created classes by job positions.  Coat type not only determines the skill level required to properly maintain the coat on man’s best friend, but also dictates proper products, tools and techniques.


  • Short and Sassy Class designed for Bathers

  • Furry and Fabulous Class designed for Groomers

  • Stacked and Styled Class designed for Stylists


Giving everyone a chance to impress is just another thing that makes IJA different from the rest. With this IJA concept, all of our competitors agree, they are given a fair chance to be all they can be!


How Do We Create Safe and Gentle  Handing in the Ring

Rescue competitions are very different than pure breed and creative styling competitions. They are all about working with dogs who have not been exposed to the pampering and preparation that is typically involved in pure breed and creative competitions. Rescue pets are placed in a new environment with bathers, groomers and stylists they do not know. Rescue Me Competitors also face a huge challenge because with rescue dogs because most are not familiar with bathing, grooming and styling procedures. 


To solve the problem, the IJA Team contacted companies that could help create a more friendly and safe environment for both the rescue pets and competitors.


Thank You Sponsors

The IJA Rescue Me Competition arena is one of the most compassionate in the industry thanks to our dedicated sponsors who  want to make a difference, all for the love of dogs.  


Thank you IJA Competitors

Thank you to all of our IJA Competitors who support the IJA Rescue Me Competitions to find homes for rescue dogs everywhere, all for your love of dogs.


Thank you IJA Judges and Show Team

The first IJA Sanctioned Rescue Me Competition was conducted at the Pittsburgh Pet Expo and was a huge success thanks to our judges and show team. Pet families watched and were amazed at the ring, how compassionate the competitors were, and how the pets reacted to the belly rubs and ear scratches as well as to the bathing, grooming and styling. We certainly made a difference! Many rescue pets were adopted that weekend and found their forever home, bringing tears to the eyes of all our IJA Family.


We could not do what we do without you! Thank You!