The Tucson Kennel Club was founded in 1929 under the name of Catalina Kennel Club. The founders’ intent was to promote purebred dogs; to educate the public in the care, purchase and training of dogs; and to hold AKC-sanctioned dog shows. The Catalina Kennel Club held their first show that same year. That show was also the first one held in the state of Arizona.
In 1936, Catalina Kennel Club changed its name to the Tucson Kennel Club. One of our founding members was Scottish-born Jeanne Cairns, the first woman west of the Mississippi to be an AKC-licensed professional handler.
Through the years, the Tucson Kennel Club grew into one of the largest kennel clubs in Arizona. Shows were small and members did every job imaginable! Early shows were “benched.” Several local parks were used as show sites until we settled into Reid Park for several consecutive years. Our 100th dog show was held in Reid Park in March 1995.
Today, TKC is a partner with Greater Sierra Vista Kennel Club in the Coyote Classic, four full days of large shows held in November at the Pima County Fairgrounds. Shows have grown too large for members to do all the set-up, but members and volunteers are still vital in helping to set up and work during the show days. Our goals remain much the same as our early years: to grow our membership; to promote purebred dogs, their purchase, care and training; and to hold quality dog shows in Tucson. We are very proud to note that Tucson Kennel Club, using funds from our show profits, is able to donate to many animal-related organizations and projects.
Our friendship and support for each other grows through three social events each year: our annual meeting in May features a cookout and potluck, in July we host a barbecue dinner, and we celebrate the holidays together in December. TKC board members can be reached via the website.