By Janice Eck
High Desert Daily
(High Desert)–Looking for something fun and exciting for the family to do next weekend? Head down the hill to the Orange County Fairgrounds and spend a day at America’s Family Pet Expo.
What began as a separate trade show and consumer show 24 years ago is now “the largest consumer pet expo in the country,” as described by Doug Poindexter, President of the World Pet Association (WPA), producers of America’s Family Pet Expo. ”Whether a dog person, a cat person, a bird person, a llama person, whatever your case might be, you’re all going to have something that excites you.”
The Pet Expo and the WPA have the same purpose: To educate the public about the pet they have or the pet they want to bring home so less pets end up in the shelter. The WPA is an educational-based organization that in addition to holding the Pet Expo, heads the Pet Care Trust, which donates to Science and Math classes to help teach students how to take care of living creatures. The WPA also holds a Business-2-Business show in Las Vegas to help pet retailers achieve better business by understanding the products and food sold in their stores.
At the Pet Expo, you’ll find experts of different breeds and species of all kinds. It is a fantastic opportunity to find out what you’re getting into before you adopt or buy. So many people get a puppy because it’s cute and fluffy, but don’t know what to expect when the puppy grows into a full-grown St. Bernard. Or someone will buy the little baby iguana without knowing it’s going to be 6-feet long. The hobby groups and clubs will be eager to give you information of how to properly care for your pet and they’ll be grateful you’re taking the time to educate yourself before taking on the responsibility of bringing home a life-long companion. And if you’re already a pet-parent, chances are you’ll find something out you didn’t know about Fido or pick up the latest chew toy for him.
All kinds of pet products – the greatest and the latest, will be showcased at the Pet Expo. Maybe you’ll see your Bearded Dragon’s new home or realize how relaxing a fish tank in your bedroom could be. Whether you have a German Shepherd, a hamster, or you’re thinking about starting a hobby in Kingsnakes, Doug calls the Pet Expo a “great one-stop shopping place.”
Pet Adoptions at the Pet Expo has managed to re-home over a thousand pets throughout the years, helping keep those pets out of the shelters and in their forever homes. If you’ve been thinking about fostering or want to “test” out a breed before you adopt, talk to any of the rescue groups you come across and let them know you want to help out. And learn how to enjoy bathing and grooming your dog at the Adoption Dog Makeovers.
Year after year, the Pet Expo offers unique entertainment and attractions appropriate for the whole family. Some veterans of the pack are: Splash Dogs – a dog enthusiast group that organizes dock jumping events across the country; Police and Protection Dog Demonstrations – not all police officers are human, but still fiercely protect our community; FICA Cat Program – talk to breeders about the unique personalities each breed holds; Repticon – leave your fears of scales at the door and get to know these beautiful cold-blooded creatures. The Amazing Dobermans Trained by Neecha Braun, makes their first appearance at the Pet Expo to wow the crowd with outrageous flips and jumps.
With a petting zoo, a bird show, Kid’s Aquarium Contest, pony rides and so much more, expect a non-stop day all about the pets and expect to see some pet celebrities too.
KINDLY LEAVE ALL PETS AT HOME.
April 19-21 – Orange County Fair and Event Center located at 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa, CA 92626.
Parking is $5.00.
General Admission is $13.00. Seniors 60 and over are $11.00. Children 6-12 are $8.00. Children 5 and under are free. Active and Retired Military are free with valid ID.
Expo hours are 10am-6pm with Saturday open until 7pm.
For more information or to buy tickets online, visit www.petexpooc.org.