Honor Your Titled Dog on the Purina Walk of Champions

06/01/2010

A brick walkway honoring dogs that have earned titles in any canine sport will pave the way to the new Purina Event Center and also help support the AKC Canine Health Foundation (CHF).

The Purina Walk of Champions contains about 4,000 bricks leading to the entrance of the world-class, multimillion-dollar indoor facility, which opens this fall at Purina Farms in Gray Summit, Mo. The Event Center will host all-breed dog shows, national specialties, agility and obedience trials.

"The engraved brick pavers that make up the Purina Walk of Champions are a wonderful way to pay tribute to a special dog," said Cindy Vogels, chairwoman of CHF. "The gesture extends not only to your own dogs but to dogs everywhere through support of canine health research."

Owners may purchase bricks in their dogs' honor by providing $100, of which $70 is a tax-deductible donation, to the foundation. The largest nonprofit organization that funds health research exclusively for canines, CHF has awarded nearly $24 million since 1995 to support canine health research at veterinary schools and research institutions worldwide.

Ann Viklund, Purina Director of Conformation, Sporting and Breeder Marketing, said, "We are pleased to offer this opportunity to the dog fancy. The Walk of Champions will be noticed by all who visit the Purina Event Center. It provides a way of commemorating special dogs forever."

Since 1997, Purina and CHF have worked together to support canine health studies that will benefit dogs and those who love them. Many groundbreaking discoveries and collaborations have taken place in many areas of canine health and genetics because of the liaison.

For information about purchasing a brick on the Purina Walk of Champions, click Here. You may also contact Erica Kitchen, Director of Development, AKC Canine Health Foundation, at 888-682-9696 or enk@caninehealthfoundation.org.

A grand opening for the 84,000-square-foot Purina Event Center is planned for August. The custom-made facility offers numerous amenities, including a 45,000-square-foot main exhibition hall with special padded flooring, a 13,500-square-foot benching and grooming area, and a dog bathing room with stainless-steel tubs and skid-resistant coated concrete flooring.

Other features are the first-floor Checkers Café and a second-floor conference room that overlooks the competition area below. A nearby service center building will provide an examination room for health clinics, two additional stainless-steel dog bathing tubs, restrooms with showers, and a kitchenette that is handy to an outside pavilion. Full-service recreational vehicle hookups and free parking are available as well.

A longtime supporter of the dog fancy, Purina has hosted outdoor dog shows and sporting events at Purina Farms for 15 years. The Event Center will complement existing venues for outdoor dog shows, lure coursing, agility, obedience, herding, and earthdog trials. Purina Farms is located about one hour from downtown St. Louis and the Lambert-St. Louis International Airport.

"We are proud to offer this state-of-the-art facility to the dog fancy to hold their events," said Brock Fitzgerald, Director of Purina Farms. "We have always worked hard to ensure that clubs had everything they need for the best event possible. Now, with the new Purina Event Center, we are taking dog shows to a new level."

For information about the Purina Event Center, please visit the Event Center website. Please contact Brock Fitzgerald, Director of Purina Farms, at 888-688-7387 or brock.fitzgerald@purina.nestle.com for information about reserving the facility.

Nestlé Purina PetCare promotes responsible pet care, community involvement and the positive bond between people and pets. A premier global manufacturer of pet products, Nestlé Purina is part of Switzerland-based Nestlé-S.A., the world's largest food company.

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