Meet the Breeders
Get to know the people behind the pets.
At AKC Meet the Breeds®, you'll get to meet breeders of every AKC and TICA breed, and they'll be available to advise your family on the perfect pet for your lifestyle. Learn about the hallmarks of a responsible breeder.
Here's a quick introduction to some of the people who have dedicated their lives to raising healthy, happy pets and who you can meet at Meet the Breeds.
- Kay DeVilbiss
- Minusdetails Manx and Cymrics
Kay DeVilbiss is an All-Breed Judge with The International Cat Association (TICA). While having shown cats for several years prior, she began judging in 1998. Her cattery, Minusdetails Manx and Cymrics is a distinguished cattery in the show world. She and her late husband Terry have produced Regional and International winners every year since the early 1990’s. Kay served one year as Vice President of TICA and 9 years as President, beginning in 1998.
Kay and Terry lived in Austin, TX for a number of years and dedicated their time to raising and educating 2 wonderful young men, one of which, Harley is now also a TICA All-Breed Judge. Kay continues to make her home in central Texas but enjoys life being located a bit more out the country now.
Along with judging, Kay now enjoys exhibiting her cats, assisting in the training of new judges and also doing breed presentations. She judges internationally several times a year in various parts of the world as well as all over the USA. "It has allowed me to see some fantastic cats and meet many wonderful people. While I realize I cannot own all of the cat breeds, I have learned to appreciate all of them and realize that there is a perfect breed to fit every lifestyle. I look forward to being a part of the 2012 Meet the Breeds and hope to see you there as well!"
- Anthony Hutcherson
- Bengal Cat Breeder & Enthusiast
Anthony Hutcherson spent his childhood admiring the statue of a regal African warrior accompanied by a leopard as both friend and hunting companion on his grandparent’s mantle. He yearned to be that warrior with a leopard as confidant.
While a middle school student Anthony happened upon one of the first articles written about a domestic cat breed being developed to look like a leopard and contacted the article’s author, Jean Mill. Mrs. Mill engaged Anthony in conversation using terms like inheritance, recessive traits and DNA – words right out of the science textbook that held no interest for him. By pairing the principles and theories being taught in science class with the pictures and information sent by Jean Mill, Anthony excelled in science and became a lifelong lover of the Bengal Cat. Through the application of scientific principles to domestic cats, TICA as the friendly forum for feline exhibition and humanity’s age-old fascination with beautiful big cats, Anthony is taking part in making that statue come alive.
Anthony Hutcherson established Jungletrax cattery and began breeding Bengal Cats while a high school student in 1991 and the amiable cats have remained a constant in Anthony’s life ever since – through college, professional transitions and an expanding family. By 1995, when Anthony was graciously welcomed to his first TICA show with "Tsavo" in Baltimore, MD, he immediately recognized the value of being part of the TICA community with their ceaseless enthusiasm for cats of all types. Today, Anthony is still working the descendants of "Tsavo" and they are creating beautiful kittens that are cherished family pets and national prize winners. Bengal cats have taken Anthony on national television programs, international magazines and involvement with research programs at the National Cancer Institute and currently at the Stanford University Genetics Laboratory. Anthony has taken his Bengals to public school science programs, nursing homes and summer camp programs for disadvantaged children.
- Pat Killmaier
- Aluren Bengals
I've been breeding Bengals and showing cats for the last 20 years. I was always fascinated by the big wild cats so when I saw this breed with patterns similar to the jungle cats I was intrigued. I showed the snow leopard and marble colors early on in the NBC (new breed/color) class until they were accepted for Championship competition by TICA (originally we could just show the brown spotted leopards). Then later, I was on the committee to introduce the silver Bengals and we campaigned our silvers for two years until they too became accepted for the Championship classes.
I will have a brown spotted leopard, a snow mink leopard and a silver spotted leopard Bengal to share at the Meet the Breeds event. I look forward to meeting everyone.
- Charles and Suzanne Philbrick
- VeritasDolls Ragdoll Cattery
"Veritas" is the Latin word for truth.
VeritasDolls Ragdoll Cattery is a small, dedicated breeder and exhibitor located in Arundel, Maine. Our Ragdolls are an integral part of our family. We strive to provide a loving, healthy environment that fosters the naturally docile Ragdoll nature. VeritasDolls babies are raised underfoot alongside our youngest teenaged girl, a bunny, and two large dogs. Our two older daughters and baby grandson visit often and help us make sure our Ragdolls are well-socialized and affectionate.
We are lifelong cat owners and began our Ragdoll cattery in 2008, carefully selecting our foundation breeding cats from among some of the most respected Ragdoll catteries in the United States. Many of these same breeders have provided valuable mentorship and guidance over the years; for this we are truly grateful.
Before we introduce new cats to our cattery, we quarantine the newcomers in a separate, well supplied room—not a cage—for a full two weeks. Additionally, newcomers see our veterinarian for a well-baby visit within forty eight hours of entering our home. All of our breeder animals are routinely tested for HCM, FIV, and FeLV and their blood type is determined prior to mating. We provide all our cats with continuous access to automatic water fountains, a blend of high quality dry kibble, and wet food daily. VeritasDolls Ragdoll Cattery is registered with TICA.
- Sheryl Shaker
- Border Terrier and Portuguese Water Dog Breeder/Enthusiast
A longtime Portuguese water dog and Border terrier enthusiast, Sheryl Shaker and her Border terrier "Maya" will be greeting the public at the Border terrier booth. A member of the Portuguese Water Dog Club of America and Border Terrier Club of America, Sheryl has competed in conformation, obedience and earthdog trials with her dogs. She is also a certified Canine Good Citizen evaluator.
After growing up with poodles, Sheryl obtained her first Portuguese water dog (PWD) in 1983 after looking for another breed that did not shed, in deference to her parents' allergies. Her dog "Calvin" was the first PWD registered by the AKC after the breed was accepted into the Working Group; Calvin's grandfather was from the first Portuguese water dog litter whelped in the United States. Since there were only 600 PWDs in the world at the time, owners were encouraged to keep their dogs intact to save the breed from extinction. Twenty-five years later, Sheryl's current PWD "Blue" is a descendant of her first dog.
- Ted Swedalla
- Beagle Breeder/Enthusiast
Ted became involved in dog shows in 1979 when he decided to breed his red and white beagle named Joy. In 1986 he met Terri Giannetti at a dog show where she was showing her beagles. Brought together by their love of dogs, good food and music, Terri and Ted soon merged their lives as well as their beagle broods.
"People say marriage takes work," says Ted. "Well try keeping a wife and a kennel full of dogs happy and you'll see what work really is!"
But Ted says that the effort is well worth the reward since "the dogs help me keep my life in proper perspective. With their naturally upbeat and eager dispositions, beagles make themselves the center of attention and are constantly entertaining us."
In 1995 Ted founded the Beagle Rescue Foundation of America, Inc., which was created to raise money to fund the spay/neuter programs for beagle rescue groups nationwide. To date, it has raised over $130,000 and funded over a thousand spay/neuter procedures.
- Marion Yates
Marion Yates of Skeenville Cattery is committed to producing healthy, well adjusted, socialized, excellent show quality Sphynx kittens. She has been showing for 5 years in The International Cat Association (TICA) and has won several Regional and International Awards in that time. She has titled every cat used in her breeding program, and screens each of her cats annually for Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM). She works with select like-minded breeders and attends cat shows several times a month. Marion was elected TICA Sphynx Breed Chair in 2009 and is actively serving the position. She is also a LH/SH Specialty Cat Show Judge for TICA, a Licensed Master Clerk, Entry Clerk, and Head Ring Clerk. She is involved in the management of several cat shows all over the United States, and is a member of many TICA clubs. Outside of the cat fancy, Marion is an investor, property manager, and Registered Nurse in Critical Care in the Orange County area.
Hallmarks of a responsible breeder.
Selecting the right breed for you and then finding a responsible breeder are the first steps you'll take when acquiring a new pet. But what makes someone a responsible breeder? Use the following tips to identify breeders who have the best interests of dogs and cats, and your family, in mind.
- Joining the Club – Is the breeder a member of a national or local dog club? AKC Breed parent clubs as well as local clubs will often have a breeding Code of Ethics that members are required to follow. TICA -recognized breeds have local clubs. Membership allows breeders to stay up-to-date on health and educational information related to their specific breed of cat.
- Meet the Parents – Have you been able to verify that the breeder properly cares for the parents of the pet you're considering by providing veterinary care, exercise, high-quality food, and a clean and stimulating living environment? Will the puppies and kittens have their shots before coming to live with you? Have they been exposed to plenty of people and situations to ensure proper socialization?
- Bringing Home A Best Friend – A good breeder will ask you lots of questions about your home, your family, and your ability to properly care for a pet. He or she will want to make absolutely certain that you will take excellent care of your pet and may ask many questions of you and others who will be caring for your new dog or cat. A responsible breeder takes every possible measure to place their pets in loving, caring homes so the animals live long, happy and healthy lives. They will let you know that they'll be available throughout your pet's life to provide guidance and answer questions.