Pointer Wins Westminster, PETA Howls

German Shorthaired Pointer ‘C.J.’ Wins Westminster While PETA Howls In Protest

The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show crowned its 140th winner tonight, despite threats of winter storms, cold temperatures, and animal rights activists.

Best In Show went to a German Shorthaired Pointer, GCH Vjk-Myst Garbonita’s California Journey.”CJ” is a two-year-old male bred by Alice Manning, Anita Weiss, and Valerie Nunes-Atkinson, owned by Valerie Atkinson, Alice Manning, and Yvonne Hassler-Deterding.

For his reserve winner, judge Dr. Richard Meen of Toronto, Canada, selected a Borzoi, CH Belisarius Jp My Sassy Girl, “Lucy” a three-year-old female bred by Kyoko Ozeki and owned by Mai Ozeki.

Westminster Kennel Club hosted some 2800 dogs with handlers in Madison Square Garden on February 14, 15, and 16. The event included seven new breeds. It premiered its first obedience trial along with hosting its third-year agility competition. The show was televised and also streamed live on the internet as millions of viewers followed the events and cheered for their favorite breeds.

But the main attraction drawing dog owners from all over the country to Madison Square Garden is the breed judging, culminating in the competition for Best In Show.

The Best In Show competition consisted of seven dogs which were selected as the best of the seven groups:

HOUND

Lucy the Borzoi, Reserve Best In Show

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Luxy the Borzoi [Image via Westminster Kennel Club]
TOY

GCH Wenrick’s Don’t Stop Believing, “Panda” a three-year-old male Shih Tzu bred by Wendy Paquette and Jody Paquette & Richard Paquette, and owned by Sharon Bilicich and Jody Garcini.

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Panda the Shih Tzu [Photo via Westminster Kennel Club]

NON-SPORTING

GCH Imperious Hamitup Southern Bell, a four-year-old female Bulldog, bred by Suzanne Glover, Rick Glover, and Rick and Kelly Franz, and owned by Ellen Charles, Imperious, Hamitup, and Hetherbull.

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Annabelle the Bulldog [Photo via Westminster Kennel Club]
HERDING

GCH Lockenhaus’ Rumor Has It V Kenlyn, a five-year-old female German Shepherd Dog bred by Pamela McElheney and Kent Boyles, owned by D Stern, P Buckles, P Dukeman, P McElheney, and K Boyles.

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German Shepherd “Rumor” [Image via Westminster Kennel Club – used with permission]
SPORTING

WORKING

GCH Pebbles’ Run Play It Again Ham, “Bogie,” a five-year-old male Samoyed bred by Amy Kiell Green, owned by Amy Kiell Green, Andrew Green, Barbara Bruns, and Wolfgang Stamp.

TERRIER

GCH Cragsmoor Good Time Charlie, five-year-old Skye Terrier bred by Eugene Z Zaphiris and Matthew H Stander, owned by Victor Malzoni Jr, Nancy Shaw, Cragsmoor Kennels.

It took all of two days to go through the hundreds of dogs to select these seven. The judging pressed on, despite some awkward moments. During the breed rings, animal rights activists from the group PETA (People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals) stood outside and held up signs of protest.

They inundated the Westminster Twitter page with protests, including a video which showed them entering the judging arena and holding up signs that read, “Mutts Rule” and “Breeders Kill Shelter Dogs’ Chances At Life”.

The PETA group members were hustled away by suit-and-tie-clad security officials. The judges, exhibitors, and dogs just ignored them and carried on.

PETA’s gripe is that breeding dogs merely adds more animals to a society already glutted with homeless pets. Their argument is that by adopting a purebred dog, an owner is robbing a home from one in a shelter.

One common complaint is that show dogs don’t have a nice life. They are kept in cages, trundled to shows, produce too many puppies, and only given attention when they show and win.

But dog show exhibitors argue this point. As Inquisitr has demonstrated in its Westminster series this week, many show dogs have a home existence that’s akin to a canine utopia. Ricky Bobby the Doberman competes in agility, barn hunts, and gets to play “bite the bad guy” in IPO. Award of Merit winner Dirt the Dalmatian lies on the bed at home and watches TV, sometimes answering back. Garcon the Berger Picard, who won Best of Opposite Sex in the Picard ring’s debut, does Frisbee competitions and visits hospitals with his owner.

These are just examples of the well-balanced life a show dog can have. Yet there is no denying that our country has a huge pet overpopulation problem.

This year, for the second time in 140 years, Westminster has gone a step beyond their tradition of hosting merely a benched exhibition of purebred dogs. By adding agility and now obedience, the club is encouraging a more complete interaction with man’s best friend. Indeed, the agility and obedience competitions even welcome mixed breed dogs.

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Cruzer, 1st place winner 16-inch division [Photo via Jack Grassa/Westminster Kennel Club]
Although it couldn’t be called a compromise, this might be considered a step in the right direction by animal rights groups.

Still, it didn’t keep them from picketing.

As Westminster forges into Year 141, the controversy rages on. Should the breeding of pedigreed dogs continue? Or should loveable mutts rule the earth? Feel free to share your opinions in our comments section below.

See more about Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in these Inquisitr stories.

[Photo via WilleeCole Photography/Shutterstock]

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