By Mitra Sorrells Posted December 21, 2011, 4:13 PM EST
To accommodate the unique needs of an event for dogs, organizers made several modifications to the building, such as bringing in sod and sawdust to create areas for handlers to walk the animals inside and outside. Canalizo said they also spent $30,000 to provide electricity for dog dryers, and they rerouted the plumbing supply to create a large bathing area.
Several hotels around the convention center modified their “no pets” policy for this event. The Peabody Orlando estimated it hosted about 100 dogs during the show. “We’ve made some special arrangements with owners to place door knob hangers to tell the housekeepers that there are dogs inside,” said Alan Villaverde, the hotel’s managing director. “Just for fun, when guests check in, we are also taking the names of the dogs to add to our guest registry.”
The weekend culminated with the championship competition Sunday night. Organizers constructed a 7,000-seat arena inside the convention center to host the event, which will air on ABC in early February. For the first time, the show was also live-streamed on the Internet, and organizers set up a viewing lounge inside the convention center where attendees who did not have a seat in the arena could watch the competition as it happened.