The animal rights advocacy group People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had two of its members dress up as members of the Ku Klux Klan outside the arena to attract attention to their cause.
"Their goal, according to a post on the PETA website, was to draw a parallel between the KKK and the American Kennel Club. "Obviously it's an uncomfortable comparison," PETA spokesman Michael McGraw told the Associated Press.
But the AKC is trying to create a "master race" when it comes to pure-bred dogs, he added. "It's a very apt comparison."
The group passed out brochures implying the Klan and AKC have the goal of "pure bloodlines" in common.
As you might expect, this raised some eyebrows and some ire.
"Bystander Fatima Walden told the AP the KKK imagery was inappropriate no matter what the message.
"They could have used something else as an example," she said. "You should be considerate to everybody."
A spokesman for Westminster said that a vast majority of people participating in the dog show care deeply about the canines' health.
So, what do you think of this stunt? Is it outright unconscionable to draw this parallel or is there a worthwhile message amidst the shocking move? And, if you were a passerby, would you interact with the protesters or keep walking?
PETA dresses in KKK garb outside Westminster Dog Show (USA Today)