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Over 500 dogs compete in Kennel Club show

Jennifer Heiken brought all seven of her Shih Tzu's to the dog show in Ottumwa./KTVO

Over 500 dogs packed the Bridge View Center this weekend for the annual Southeastern Iowa Kennel Club Dog Show.

They were all competing for one thing: Best In Show.

The two-day event featured pets from 34 different states.

“They come from Mississippi, Pennsylvania California, Washington State – they come up from everywhere,” said Southeastern Iowa Kennel Club President and Show Chair Michelle Chaney.

The dogs were split into groups of breeds and sizes to compete against one another.

For Jennifer Heiken, of Illinois, she owns seven Shih Tzu’s – and three of them are sisters who’s mother was a championship show dog herself.

“Our first Shih Tzu was a rescue and so I fell in love with the breed and then we went and watched a dog show and I was like ‘oh I want to do that’ and so we got our first show dog,” said Heiken.

Heiken, her sister and mother travel around the country participating in dog shows.

“It’s kind of like a family time to spend with our family and dogs and we just hang out,” said Heiken.

Aside from being a family fun event and a chance to show off your pet’s skills, Southeastern Iowa Kennel Club President Michelle Chaney says the show is also about promoting healthy dogs.

“We’re all about promoting our breed, improving the quality, temperament of the breed. We want everyone to have happy, healthy pets and to provide that you need to be a responsible breeder do health testing, learn about your breed, know the genetics behind the parents so that you can produce nice, quality, happy, healthy dogs to be a part of your family,” said Chaney.

Last yea,r during the Southeastern Iowa Kennel Club Dog Show, dog owner Craig Eugene was arrested and charged with four counts of Cruelty to Animals after he left four of his dogs in a car in the heat. Three of them died. In February, the Wapello County Courthouse ordered Eugene to pay $300 plus court fees for the three counts of Cruelty to Animals, the fourth was dropped.


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