Top dogs dazzle crowds at Kennel Club of Philadelphia’s National Dog Show

OAKS, Pennsylvania (WPVI) — “I now have 23 dogs, most of which I’ve rescued or adopted from around the country, and they’re my family,” said Gail Mirabella.

Mirabella grew up in Hatboro, Pennsylvania and now tours the country as a trainer and performer with the Purina Pro Plan Performance Team. She and her dogs attended the National Dog Show at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center this weekend, where they performed multiple shows per day.

“A lot of them came from bad situations,” she said of her dogs. “I’ve given them a good job, given them a good life, and they just work for me with all their hearts. They enjoy what we do so much that it really isn’t work anymore.”

Crowds wowed with the performances at the annual event hosted by the Kennel Club of Philadelphia. The tradition goes back more than a century.

“The Kennel Club has actually been around since 1884,” said current President Wayne Ferguson. “It all started at the Philadelphia show and three years later we had our first dog show. And we’ve had them annually ever since.”

One of the show’s more than 1,800 contestants, Beverly Conroy, hails from Newtown, Pennsylvania. She acquired her first dog from the Netherlands and has now been breeding her furry friends for three generations.

“At the end of the day, no matter what they do in the dog ring, they’re a pet,” Conroy said. “You know, they’re someone you’ll love for the rest of your life.”

This year’s event ended on Sunday 20th November. To learn more about the Kennel Club of Philadelphia or the National Dog Show, visit their websites.

RELATED: Police K-9 skills shine at annual Delaware County competition

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