If you've ever seen the film Best in Show and sworn that your furry mutt Skippy could run circles around the pedigreed “Champion Thank You Neil Sedakas” and “Miss Agneses” of the world, then here's Skippy's chance to strut his stuff. Dubbed “A Different Breed of Dog Show,” Nuts for Mutts is celebrating its fifth year of showcasing common dogs competing and performing all in the name of charity.This year's festivities, hosted by Academy Award winner Kim Basinger, will raise funds for New Leash on Life (www.newleash.org). The non-profit organization rescues and rehabilitates homeless pets. Since 1997, it has placed more than 2,500 dogs into loving, permanent homes. All vendor fees, ticket sales and show registrations will directly benefit New Leash on Life's animals and public education programs.

In past years, the event has taken place over the course of one day, but due to growing popularity it has expanded to two. Qualifying rounds will be on Saturday, April 29, when one expert in each category will judge the 30 entrants in his specific section. The top 10 will move on to the final round on Sunday, April 30, to compete before a panel of celebrity judges.

Celebrities set to judge the competitions are (pending their schedules): Jake Gyllenhaal ( Brokeback Mountain ), Allison Janney and Janel Moloney of “West Wing,” Lisa Edelstein (“House M.D.”), Nathan Fillion (“Buffy the Vampire Slayer,” “Firefly”), Galen Gering (“Passions”,) Debra Wilson (“Mad TV”), Melissa Peterman (“Reba”) and more.

These judges will preside over a couple of categories you might expect at a typical show like “Most Beautiful/Handsome” and “Cutest Puppy.” But, when it comes to judging breeds, Nuts for Mutts is not looking for purebreds, rather it hosts a competition for the best mix of breeds. For instance, if your mutt looks like a Pit Bull, but has the coloring of a Dalmatian, you'd want to enter him in the Best Pit Bull Mix category.

There are also several other fun categories like “Best Kisser,” “Most Ear-Resistible Ears,” “Best Wag,” “Most Toy/Ball Crazy” and “Fastest Eater.” This year event-sponsor Scotch-Brite initiates a new category into the fold, “Best Shedder.”

Just like in the movie, contestants parade their dog into the show ring to “perform” for the judges. The second and third place contestants in each category are awarded a ribbon, while the first place winner in each section moves on to compete for “Best in Show.” The top three winners overall receive great prizes, as well as bragging rights for the rest of the year.

There will be a silent auction, over 70 pet related vendor booths to visit and an array of food to fill your tummy and Skippy's, too. There are still openings in most of the competition categories if you go to the Nuts for Mutts Web site and register your pet today. So, what are you waiting for? GET UP AND GET OUT!

Pierce College is located at 6201 Winnetka Ave., in Woodland Hills. Admission is $10; $8 for students; $5 for dogs. For more information, visit www.nutsformutts.com.