"Meet the Breeds" Expo Takes Manhattan
The second annual “Meet the Breeds,” co-hosted by the American Kennel Club and the Cat Fanciers’ Association, brought out tens of thousands of spectators to the two-day packed showcase and educational event in New York City on October 16 and 17.
People travelled from all over the East Coast to wade through shoulder-to-shoulder crowds and get their dog and cat fix in various forms. 160 breeds of dog were represented by at least two to three canine representatives, and approximately 40 cat breeds were present in interactive, decorative displays in the Jacob Javits Center in midtown Manhattan.
Some first-time attendees, like Lisa Thomas, 30, came in pursuit of more information about which type of dog or cat is the best potential fit for them.
“I wanted to get a Puli, but I haven’t seen it yet,” said Thomas, who has been thinking about getting a dog for the past two years. “I thought I could come here and get more information on that.”
But Thomas said that another dog – the Welsh Corgi – appealed to her as she walked around, and that she now intends to contact a breeder she was placed in touch with.
Amongst the more common dog breeds on display, like the Pug, Rottweiler and Labrador Retriever, some rarer dogs, including the Otterhound, Spinone Italiano and Xoloitzcuintli, complemented the mix. The same went for cats, as the American Shorthair and Chartreux were in good company with the Selkirk Rex and Tonkinese, for example.
The event provided a unique opportunity for individuals to make accurate assessments on whether a particular breed could mesh with their lifestyle, or vice versa.
“People can read a lot about the Spinone Italiano, but it’s not that common that they have the opportunity to see them,” said Kim Vandebilt, of the Spinone Italiano Club of America. “For every person that wants a breed referral, you get someone who was previously interested who says, ‘Oh really? I didn’t know that about this dog.’ People become more informed.”
For many people at Meet the Breeds, however, the bustling showcases were purely for fun. Cat lovers appeared to revel in the Cat Fanciers’ Association’s “Cat Idol” event Sunday afternoon, when the audience selected their top cat by cheering the loudest (a 25-lb Maine Coon cat took home the prize, including one-year free supply of Iams cat food). And the crowds were thick as dogs of all shapes and sizes leaped and bounded through different agility courses, darting through poles and up and down see-saws.
Dogs’ public service contributions were also on display, as police K-9 dogs demonstrated their keen ability to heel, charge and even attack criminal offenders on command. Later, the U.S. Police Canine Association stood by, taking donations for K-9 bullet proof vests, which cost $1,000 each and are not provided by the police force. Only a small portion of their 150 active dogs are presently protected with the vests.
More than 100 vendor booths with a heavy focus on natural pet food and treats, as well as some other products like reflective leashes and collars for late-night walks and ultra-soft, padded bedding, also offered owners a chance to bring some of the event back home to pets that couldn’t make the journey.
Also missing from Meet the Breeds were adoptable pets, which were present at last year’s event, compliments of the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals.
The Mayor’s Alliance says it was denied space to set up a booth within the Javits Center, but is planning a holiday pet adoption event at the Metropolitan Pavilion in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood December 18-19, to be co-hosted with the Cat Fanciers’ Association and Best Friends Animal Society.
“People aren’t going to lose the opportunity to adopt – it is just going to be a little bit later in the year,” Mayor’s Alliance communications director Steve Gruber said.
Have you been to a breed exhibition recently? Why did you choose the breed of pet that you have? Tell us below!
5 years ago
My son and I were able to attend both years... Fun! We got a first hand view of Fly Ball! Wow, were those dogs flying!!! There were K9 units and agility demonstrations too. My only complaint is that the associatgion does not recognize the wonderful Catahoula Leopard Dog. Our girl is amazing!!!
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