Pet expo re­turns to Oaks this week­end

Greater Philadel­phia Pet Expo re­turns to the area this week­end

The Reporter (Lansdale, PA) - - FRONT PAGE - By Donna Rovins drovins@21st-cen­tu­ry­media.com @Mer­cBiz on Twit­ter

OAKS » An­i­mal lovers look­ing for a win­ter event for the whole fam­ily have found just what they’re look­ing for in the Greater Philadel­phia Pet Expo this week­end.

The event, held at the Greater Philadel­phia Expo Cen­ter in Oaks, has grown in pop­u­lar­ity over the past cou­ple of years ac­cord­ing to Nancy Has­sel, founder and pres­i­dent of Amer­i­can Pet Pro­fes­sion­als LLC, a busi­ness net­work­ing or­ga­ni­za­tion for the pet in­dus­try. She said the event, which has been held at the Expo Cen­ter for the past 8 years, an­nu­ally at­tracts more than 15,000 visi­tors, adding that the event con­tin­ues to grow. The Pet Expo is de­signed to ed­u­cate and en­ter­tain the pub­lic about the world of pets and Has­sel said that more than 100 ven­dors and many area res­cue groups with adopt­able pets will be on hand this week­end. The event fea­tures a pet­ting zoo, prod­ucts, ed­u­ca­tional and en­ter­tain­ment ori­ented demon­stra­tions and shop­ping for pet prod­ucts — some of which Has­sel said may not yet be widely avail­able in stores. There is also room for at­ten­dees to bring their well-be­haved pets.

“This is one of our big­gest pet ex­pos and we are so happy to be in Philadel­phia again,” said show or­ga­nizer Karen Gare­tano of Fam­ily Pet Shows, which hosts the an­nual Greater Philadel­phia Pet Expo. “We strive to make our events fam­ily- and pet-friendly and we highly en­dorse re­spon­si­ble pet own­er­ship. At the expo at­ten­dees can ex­pect to learn, be en­ter­tained by many high fly­ing and ed­u­ca­tional pet tal­ent acts, and meet and see an­i­mals they have never seen be­fore.”

Has­sel added that the event is a mix of pet busi­ness, en­ter­tain­ment and ed­u­ca­tion.

“It’s a truly fam­ily-fun pet event,” she said. “I think there’s al­ways some­thing new at the expo — some­thing that will ‘wow’ peo­ple. Re­peat at­ten­dees know they’re go­ing to see some­thing new.”

New at this year’s event will be Y2K9 Freestylers, a var­ied group of rou­tines to mu­sic in­clud­ing “Be a Clown,” “Veils and Wings,” “Friend like Me” and “Who Let the Dogs Out.”

“We strive to make our events fam­ilyand pet-friendly and we highly en­dorse re­spon­si­ble pet own­er­ship. At the expo at­ten­dees can ex­pect to learn, be en­ter­tained by many high fly­ing and ed­u­ca­tional pet tal­ent acts, and meet and see an­i­mals they have never seen be­fore.” — Karen Gare­tano, show or­ga­nizer of Fam­ily Pet Shows

Freestyle is the sport of danc­ing with your dog — a dis­play of com­mu­ni­ca­tion and re­la­tion­ship be­tween dog and han­dler — set to mu­sic.

Back again this year is the pop­u­lar Fly­ball tour­na­ment by the Hard Drive Fly­ball Club. Fly­ball races match two teams of four dogs each, ac­cord­ing to

Has­sel. They race side-by­side along a course, trig­ger­ing a fly­ball box which re­leases a ball. The dogs re­trieve the ball and re­turn over the jumps.

Rab­bit hop­ping re­turns this year with the ad­di­tion of guinea pig agility course and a sem­i­nar for those who might be in­ter­ested in train­ing their rab­bit or guinea pig in agility.

Other ac­tiv­i­ties dur­ing the three-day event, which started on Fri­day, in­clude a rain­for­est rep­tile show; the

Delco Bird Club, which will bring some birds; and Gail Mirabella and the Dy­namo Dogs Va­ri­ety Act. Su­per­fit Ca­nine will show­case dis­as­ter work­ing dogs demon­strat­ing how they find miss­ing peo­ple dur­ing a dis­as­ter, and Maple Hill Golden Doo­dles will present a sem­i­nar on how to find a rep­utable breeder.

On Satur­day, at­ten­dees can par­tic­i­pate with their pure­bred dog in the Pa­rade of Breeds, in the dog arena. The pa­rade is open to dogs

6-months of age and up. Pets must be healthy and up-to-date on shots. In­for­ma­tion and forms to par­tic­i­pate can be found on the web­site.

Fam­ily Pet Shows is a fam­ily owned and op­er­ated com­pany run by Karen and Den­nis Gare­tano and their son Joe. In 1994, Karen and Den­nis Gare­tano wanted to host a horse expo, and held their first show in Fort Washington. In 1996 the show was ex­panded to in­clude other pets and the

name changed to Horse and Pet Expo. The com­pany now hosts seven dif­fer­ent pet ex­pos an­nu­ally in New York, New Jer­sey and Penn­syl­va­nia.

The Greater Philadel­phia Pet Expo will be held on Fri­day, Jan. 13 from 4 to 9 p.m. — Fam­ily Night, with kids 12 and un­der ad­mit­ted free; Satur­day, Jan. 14 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and on Sun­day, Jan. 15 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Ad­mis­sion is $12.00 for adults and $5 chil­dren (ages 11 and un­der;,

3 and un­der are ad­mit­ted free.

Tick­ets can be pur­chased at the door or by vis­it­ing www.fam­i­lypet­shows.com. Dis­count coupons are also avail­able on­line and pro­mo­tional codes for the on­line tick­ets can be found on the Face­book page — www.face­book.com/ FAMILYPETSHOW/?fref=ts

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Al­pacas were among some of the an­i­mals on dis­play at last year’s Pet Expo in Oaks, which at­tracted more than 15,000 visi­tors. The event re­turns Jan. 13, 14 and 15.

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Among the re­turn­ing par­tic­i­pants in the Greater Philadel­phia Pet Expo in Oaks Jan. 13, 14 and 15 will be the Delco Bird Club, which will have var­i­ous species of their birds on dis­play.

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