Pet Lovers Flock to NJ Expo
EDISON, NJ – More than 200 exhibitors drew in crowds of all kinds to the Super Pet Expo held in Edison, NJ this past weekend.
Owners and four-legged pets a like meandered up and down aisles of booths which offered everything from the latest pet must-haves to special interest awareness.
Entertainment was even offered by pet celebrities like Elwood, the World’s Ugliest Dog. But he didn’t just come to shop or be photographed, instead, he came to get an important message out.
“Because he is the World’s Ugliest Dog, what he is doing with his celebrity is more important than if someone calls him ugly,” Elwood’s mom Karen Quigley said. “Because we go around to promote adoption, he has raised thousands of dollars for homeless animals.”
But Elwood wasn’t the only one serving the pet community. Several animal rescues groups were at the expo promoting their causes through the Nov. 8-10 weekend.
“(We’re) trying to make a difference in people’s perceptions about dogs and cats with disabilities,” said Joyce Darrell from Pets with Disabilities.
Another group raising support to help animals was the New Jersey SPCA.
“Every penny we make of everything we sell goes 100 percent to fighting animal cruelty in the animal welfare division and the law enforcement division – every penny,” NJ SPCA Lieutenant Rick Yocum said.
With every variety of rescue and organization present at the expo, the event wasn’t just about cats and dogs.
Visitors could interact with horses, llamas, exotic birds and even tiger cubs from a wildlife sanctuary.
“They are coming up to eight weeks old,” said Kody Atkinson of Ocean Creek Wildlife. “The tiger cubs are just reaching that age when they can come out, meet the public, and let people experience a tiger up close.”
But as cute and alluring as exotic animals are, Extreme Reptile’s Kirk White spoke strongly to admiring crowds about the need for responsible ownership of pets, like a python.
“A large snake like this can reach up to anywhere from eight to 12 feet, and weigh up to 100 pounds,” said White. “If you buy a snake, throw it in a cage, and (are) not responsible, the snake can be dangerous and be able to kill a small person.”
Along with the reminder that not all animals make good pets, expo visitors, along with their four-legged, winged and slithering friends, heard another message.
“The biggest thing is that animals need your help,” said Kody Atkinson of Ocean Creek Wildlife. “It doesn’t matter from a dog or cat on the side of the road or anything like that to lions and tigers, and it’s not just the cute ones. Animals are people, too.”
If you would like more information about the expo, log onto superpetexpo.com
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Robin Wallace contributed to the print version of this story.
As pet parents of two mixed breed rescue dogs, we sometimes lament the lack of cute pet products that tout our favorite breed: rescue. Last year, tw… more ›