Cats and pet fish have their day at Hall County Fair | Grand Island Local News

Hall County Fair is known for its shows of humble bovines and fanciful fowls, buts cats and pet fish had their day, too, with Friday’s companion animals show at Aurora Cooperative Pavilion.

“This is a chance for kids to show their cats and any other animals that they have that don’t qualify into any of the other 4-H classes,” Event Superintendent Lisa Allan said. “We had fish today. In the past there have been lizards, snakes, guinea pigs. Anything that doesn’t fit.”

The afternoon’s five young entrants brought with them two cats and two beta fish. Event Judge Donna Rauert called it a good showing, and described the pets as pleasant.

The pets were evaluated based on personality and presentation.

“Small in numbers, but the kids knew the knowledge of the feed and the breeds, and that’s always a good start,” said Rauert.

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The cats, when shown, were squirmy and hissed some, but calmed when held.

“The cats were a little questionable, but the fish was very well contained and performed real well,” jested Rauert.

Several qualities are considered when evaluating the cats, Rauert explained.

“Cleanliness, if their nails have been clipped. Check the ears, which the kids did that for me,” she said. “Usually I ask them about breed, feed breakdown, if they’re contained to their cage all the time or out in the house, which both of them they were out running around.”

The betas, too, though seeming ever content in their bowls and tanks, are also evaluated.

Noah Krueger looks at his Betta Fish “Bubbles” while the judge was tallying scores during Friday’s 4-H Companion Animal Show at the Hall County Fair.


“You have to know the breed, and about the breed, and where the breed originated and about the care of them, cleaning of the tank they’re in,” said Rauert.

Dakota Fenster described her cat, a 1-year-old shorthair, as fun and good company.

“She likes going outside. Sometimes I’ll take her for walks and get weird looks from my neighbors,” she said. “She likes to just lie around. Sometimes we just cuddle.”

They won two reserve champion honors and a purple ribbon for personality.

Noah Krueger brought a half-moon beta to the fair Friday.

They’re bred in Thailand. They’re branded to fight. And they have a special organ in them that helps them so they can breathe out of water, too,” he explained.

Krueger described his beta as a fun and pleasant pet.

“He seems very happy and he likes to swim about his tank,” he said. “I like watching him swim around. It’s fun to watch him do that.”

Krueger and his beta earned champion showmanship and best personality.

It is special for the kids to show off their animals that aren’t livestock, said Allen.

“I think it went really well. The kids did a great job,” she said. “You can tell that they really care about their animals. It’s always fun to see them interact with them.”

Hall County Fair continues today at Grand Island’s Fonner Park. For information on activities and events, go to


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