The PETCO Unleashed race isn't just about which tiny racer wins the gold, but it's also about connecting animal lovers with adoptable animals across the country that need loving homes.
San Diego, Calif. (Vocus) September 2, 2007
She may be on the small side, but Maddy from New York City showed she is top dog Sunday prevailing over 14 other pint-sized contenders to take the title of America's Fastest Chihuahua in the PETCO Unleashed national finals.
The 2-year-old pup, weighing in at a mere 4-1/2 pounds, came out on top of the pack of the nation's fastest Chihuahuas - including national champions from the last two years - covering the 1/18th furlong (35-foot-long) track in 2 seconds. The fastest group of the world's smallest breed of dog kicked up the grass in a blaze of glory unfazed by thousands of cheering baseball fans gathered at PETCO Park in San Diego - the races venue - for Sunday's Padres-LA Dodgers game.
"We knew she was a strong contender; she is very fast and focused. Last year she choked and this year she came out on top," said proud pet parent Sue Yee.
Maddy's key to success was lots of love and intense training, including sprinting, racing up stairs and swimming, says Yee who plans to treat champion Maddy to a bone from PETCO when they return to the Big Apple.
PETCO's third annual Unleashed races showcased 15 tiny regional winners with larger-than-life personalities - both veteran and rookie racers - proudly representing Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Houston, Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Orange County, Calif., Phoenix, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle and Washington D.C. Racers attended the event courtesy of American Airlines, Omni San Diego Hotel and San Diego Convention Center and Visitor's Bureau.
Maddy unseated last year's champion, Tiger from Bakersfield, Calif. She won bragging rights, a trophy, a one-year supply of Royal Canin Chihuahua dog food and a $300 PETCO Gift Card.
PETCO and race co-sponsor Royal Canin hold the event to celebrate one of America's favorite breeds of dog, and to encourage all animal enthusiasts to consider adoption as a first option when adding a pet to their family.
"Chihuahuas might be the world's smallest breed, but they sure have huge personalities and are very devoted to their owners, making them wonderful companions," said Heather Olson, strategic partnerships and promotions manager at PETCO. "The PETCO Unleashed race isn't just about which tiny racer wins the gold, but it's also about connecting animal lovers with adoptable animals across the country that need loving homes."
The national finals footage and pint-sized profiles of all regional champions will soon be available at http://www.petco.com/petcounleashed.
PETCO is a privately held specialty retailer that provides products, services and advice to make it easier for our customers to be great pet parents. We operate nearly 900 stores in 49 states and the District of Columbia, as well as a leading pet products and information destination at http://www.petco.com. Our nonprofit organization, The PETCO Foundation, has raised more than $34 million since its inception in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the foundation, we work with and support more than 4,200 local animal welfare groups across the country to help find homes for more than 200,000 adoptable animals every year.
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