Coronavirus News: Dog shows try to go on amid the pandemic

NEW YORK CITY (WABC) -- Most sports on just about every level have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Cancellations, postponements, delayed seasons are commonplace, and that includes dog shows.

Since March, more than 10,000 events across the country have been canceled.

"So, we have 26 different sports total. If you look at all of them, there have been over 12,000 events cancelled. That equals about 53% of our annual number," Doug Ljungren, executive vice president of sports and events with the American Kennel Club, said.

Doges used to travel, grooming and being in the ring regularly have also had to adjust.

"I think the dogs that are with professional handlers that are going for the top dogs of their breeds in the country, you have to think of them as an athlete. And they do need to keep in shape, both physically and mentally," Ljungren said.

But just a couple of weeks ago, it was the return to the ring for some dogs in a socially distanced event that was held in Oklahoma.

"It was a big all-breed show. It was the first one held in the country in 3 and a half months," he said. "Everybody had a mask on. The judges do have to go over to dogs. The best practice there was between every dog use hand sanitizer."

This could be a step in the right direction for future shows, including the marquee events which are still several months away. A couple of events have been added to the calendar in between to help determine if the shows can go on in a safe manner.

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