(Hannibal)—National Tom Sawyer Days kicked off Wednesday afternoon in Central Park with the 41st annual Pet Show  sponsored by F&M Bank and Trust. Bank officer Joy McPike says over 40 pets competed in 6 categories.

Austin and Ashley Shulse of Hannibal brought ferrets, birds, and a dog to the show.  Austin was hopeful his colorful conure birds would garner the Most Unusual award, but a miniature horse shown by Clyde Dunker of Kinderhook won that category.  However, Ashley’s toy fox terrier “Daisy” stole the show in the Best Dressed category, looking absolutely stunning in her shimmery outfit accessorized with necklaces and a purse. Ashley says Daisy gets along well with the other family pets and really doesn’t mind getting all dolled up…

Ashley and Austin’s mom, Tracy, says they didn’t bring all of their family pets—Dad Chris breeds and sells snakes.  They have over 30 at home.

One of the judges of the pet show was United Way of the Mark Twain Area Executive Director Lou Lemen.. I asked Lou to comment on the experience…

The Best Dog was a Great Pyranees entered by Taylor Schuenke of Palmyra.  Best Cat was a Blue Chip Siamese owned by Avery Lake of Hannibal.  The Best Tom award goes to an amazingly agile turtle shown by Waylon Anders of Hannibal.  Best trick went to an Australian Shepherd owned by Chalin Chapman of Monroe City.

Rajah Maples of KHQA Channel 7 was emcee for the event.

More pictures of today's event...