Pet expo returns to Oaks this weekend
Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo returns to the area this weekend
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
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.
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.