The Florida Skunk Rescue organization held its 27th annual Skunk Show on Saturday in Kissimmee - yes, there's such a thing.
The new "grand national champion" is Shirley the Skunk, owned by Brenda Hoch from the New Port Richey area.
Don and Brenda Hoch with Shirley.
More than 50 skunks and their owners were in town for the show. The Florida Skunk Rescue League hosted the event, and skunks came dressed to the nines.
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David Bodden got to sit down with Shirley and her owner Hoch to find out what it takes to be America's favorite skunk.
Read the interview below:
David: Well, I've got a very special guest here today. I'm joined by Ms. Brenda Hoch and her Champion skunk, Shirley. Tell me about Shirley?
Brenda: Shirley is a 3-year-old gray chip skunk. She has the little white markings on her front arms which makes her a chip.
David: Now, this is a very unusual pet. Tell me why did you choose a skunk?
Brenda: I just like unusual things and we saw a lady in a pet store with one and she said this made a really good pet. So, I did a lot of research and we finally got our first skunk and we decided to get him a friend. Once we did that, we got involved with the Skunk Rescue.
David: And you have A LOT of friends at your house now, don't you?
Brenda: We do. We have 19 -- we did have 20 but we did do an adoption yesterday.
David: Wow. Now, tell me a little about a skunk. This is not like a dog. It's not like a cat, kind of a mix of the two.
David: So, with 19 of them running around the house, what's that like? Kind of crazy?
Brenda: Only at feeding time (laughter). During the day they sleep quite a bit. They do get up when we get up in the morning for breakfast, so they know when breakfast is. And they go back to bed. A few may straggle out when I come home for lunch. Then the majority of them will come out for dinner. They're waiting at the door, just like a dog.
David: What are judges looking for in a champion skunk?
Brenda: Well, they're looking for their weight. Shirley is a pretty good weight. They're looking at their fur to see if it's shiny. Um, they're going to check to see if you've trimmed their nails and their ears are clean.
David: Wow. Well, thank you so much for bringing Shirley in- this is an incredible thing. I've now interviewed a skunk. I have finally arrived in my career. I've interviewed a skunk and a skunk owner.
By the way, this was Shirley's first time ever on the pageant circuit.
As part of the rules, she has to sit next year out before she can compete again, but Brenda and her husband Don say they have an albino skunk at home they hope will win next year.