In celebration of its 125th anniversary this year, the American Kennel Club has partnered with the Cat Fanciers’ Association for a showcase of purebred dogs and cats in the first stand-alone “Meet the Breeds” event in New York City.
Representatives of every breed of dog and cat in the United States get together under one roof for the event, said Christina Duffney, AKC spokeswoman. The dog-only version has always been a popular draw with the public at every AKC/Eukanuba National Championship show since its inception in 2001.
To add a new dimension to “Meet the Breeds,” the Cat Fanciers Association brings 41 CFA-registered cat breeds to the event for the world’s largest showcase of cat and dog breeds. On the dog side, the AKC features more than 160 registered dog breeds.
“Meet the Breeds will allow people to explore more about purebred dogs and cats and help them determine what breed is right for their family,” Duffney said. “Responsible breeders and their dogs, puppies, cats, and kittens will interact with the public to educate them on various breeds and responsible pet ownership.”
Each breed is presented in individually decorated booths designed by each breed’s parent club to depict the animal’s country of origin, historical purpose or function, and attributes as a family pet. Visitors are able to interact with the various dogs and ask questions about the breed.
The event will also offer numerous educational demonstrations and activities for kids. Families can watch dogs and cats racing against the clock over an obstacle course that includes ramps, jumps, weave poles, and tunnels.
Pet owners can learn how to groom their dog or cat; kids can learn how to help their dog become a Canine Good Citizen; spectators can watch K9 Search and Rescue demonstrations, and all attendees can learn first aid for their pet.
In addition, more than 50 vendor booths will sell unique cat and dog products. “Meet the Breeds” takes place the weekend of October 17 and 18, and is expected to become an annual family event.