By IAN HILL
VINDICATOR STAFF WRITER
BOARDMAN -- Gina Kimbel thought it would be cute to dress her cat as Tinkerbell for Saturday's pet show in Boardman Township Park. But her cat, Beatrice, didn't seem to appreciate the sentiment.
"She hates it," said Kimbel, a pupil at Glenwood Middle School, as Beatrice tried to squirm backward, away from her hand.
Beatrice's temporary discomfort paid off, however, as she received the Best Costumed award at the show.
"They thought she was cute," Kimbel said of the show's judges.
Around 46 fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders from the Mahoning Valley area brought their pets to the show, which was sponsored by Boardman Kiwanis club. Awards were given in several categories, including most loved pet and most cared for pet. Each pet owner also received a ribbon.
It was the 10th pet show in Boardman sponsored by Kiwanis.
Crawling to first place: The award for outstanding pet in the show went to Crystal Beiersdorfer, 10, a home-schooled fourth-grader from Youngstown, and her pet tarantula Rozy. It was the only tarantula entered in the show.
Crystal said she felt that other young people could learn from the pet owners in the show.
"It shows kids that kids can take care of animals," she said.
John Finley, the co-coordinator of the show, said he hoped that the pupils had fun while learning about their pets. He stressed that the show is supposed to be both entertaining and educational, as judges spoke with each pet owner about the proper care of their pets.
"Hopefully they all had a fun day and maybe they have a more responsible attitude towards their pets," said Polly Wardle, the co-founder of Angels for Animals Inc. Volunteers from Angels for Animals served as judges for the show.
Responsible owners: Wardle said the judges asked the pet owners several questions about pet care and health, including if their pet was neutered and how often their pet exercises. The judges were able to answer any questions about pet health, she said.
"We want to make sure they know something about their pet," Wardle said, adding that the answers given by the pet owners played an important role in the judging process.
Kaytlin Shamrock, 12, pupil at Boardman Center Middle School, said that to prepare her golden retriever, Rocky, for the show, she "loved him a lot."
"Hopefully he'll have fun," Shamrock said of Rocky.