Economy Takes Chomp Out of America's Top Dog Show

Westminster Kennel Club show empties out as economy goes to the dogs
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 10, 2009 2:34 AM CST
The 2008 Best in Show, a beagle named Uno, looks around during the 133rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show at Madison Square Garden in New York yesterday.   (AP Photo/Seth Wenig)
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(Newser) – America's top dog will be crowned at the 133rd Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show in Manhattan tonight but the rough economy has thinned out the pack, reports AP. At $75 per entry, the event fell 14 pooches short of its usual 2,500 competitors. Human onlookers were also fewer than usual, with Madison Square Garden only two-thirds full.

One perennial attendee that didn’t shy away was PETA, whose members stood outside the show dressed as KKK members to protest the focus on purebred animals. Seven group winners—a Scottish deerhound, a Scottish terrier, a standard poodle, a puli, plus three more to be picked today—will compete tonight for the Best in Show prize.