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American Kennel Club and The International Cat Association Educate and Entertain Tens of Thousands of Dog and Cat Lovers

(Tuesday, December 06, 2011)

-- View Extensive Photo Coverage of AKC Meet the Breeds at www.MeetTheBreeds.com --

From cats in costumes to a recreated scene from the Wizard of Oz, the American Kennel Club® (AKC) and The International Cat Association (TICA) hosted record breaking crowds at the third annual AKC Meet the Breeds® event – the largest showcase of dogs and cats in the world.

Presented by PetPartners, Inc., your partner in pet health care, more than 1,000 dogs and cats, representing 210 breeds, filled the Javits Center on November 19 & 20. From the more common Labrador Retriever and Sphynx cat to some of the rarer breeds, such as the Pumi and Toyger cat, dog and cat lovers were treated to interactive, decorative displays and allowed to meet and play with each breed while learning directly from the experts the responsibilities of owning that pet.

“The AKC was pleased to join forces with TICA to once again offer the public this opportunity to meet and play with dogs and cats, including some of the rarest breeds most people may have only read about or have seen on television,” said AKC Assistant Vice President Gina DiNardo. “This entertaining and educational event helped teach children of all ages – including local Girl Scout and Brownie troops – about which dog or cat could become a lifelong member of their family and how to be a responsible owner.”

“TICA was proud to be a part of AKC Meet the Breeds and give kids the opportunity to walk through the Bengal breed booth decorated as the jungle, and pet the loveable Toyger cat that looks like a wild Tiger, while their parents learned about responsible pet ownership and the importance of learning the characteristics of each breed before you add it to your family,” said TICA President Vickie Fisher.

“I want to thank all of our sponsors, vendors and especially the wonderful volunteers from participating AKC Parent clubs and TICA that represented the more than 200 breed booths and performed in the demonstration rings,” said AKC President and CEO Dennis B. Sprung. “Your help and dedication is what makes us able to bring this responsible pet extravaganza to life and educate the public about what breed is best for their lifestyle.”

This year’s Best Booth Awards were sponsored by ShowSight Magazine, with the Saluki booth winning for the Hound Group and taking Best Booth in Show for their recreation of an ancient Egyptian setting with booth volunteers dressed in traditional Arabian clothing. The Labrador Retriever booth took best in the Sporting Group, the Mastiff won best in the Working Group, the Cairn Terrier won best in the Terrier Group, the Chinese Crested took best in the Toy Group, the American Eskimo Dog won for the Non-Sporting Group, the German Shepherd Dog won for the Herding Group, and the Cirneco Dell’Etna won for the Miscellaneous Class/FSS breeds.

Spectators enjoyed more than 15 entertaining demonstrations including the popular Kitty CATure feline fashion show featuring Meow Wear designer Carla Reiss’ custom creations, the U.S. Customs & Border Protection team and their K-9s, and dog and cat agility where people got the chance to watch the dogs and cats race against the clock through weave polls, over jumps and through tunnels.

More than 100 vendor booths also offered every imaginable pet product and service including Paramount Chemical Specialties nontoxic-stain and health products, The Hartford auto and home insurance for responsible dog owners, LG Electronics USA vacuums for pet owners, American Pet Product Association promotion of the benefits of pet ownership and the human-animal bond and Motel 6/Studio 6 offering pet friendly lodging with a 10% AKC discount. These are some of the many ways of giving owners the opportunity to bring a little something back to share with their four legged friends just in time for the holidays.

View photo coverage at www.MeetTheBreeds.com. Additional photos and video can be found on AKC’s social media pages including Facebook, You Tube and Twitter.