OAKS – The Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo returns March 11-13 with furry flight entertainment, canine sports competitions and educational programs designed for the whole family. The event will once again take place at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center and will feature many special attractions, pet adoptions and exceptional shopping for animal lovers and their pets.
“This event is the biggest and most popular show we put on,” said show co-producer Karen Garetano of Family Pet Shows, which puts on seven similar events across the Northeast. “The number of pet licenses in the region has nearly doubled since the onset of COVID, and interest in the event appears to have doubled as well based on our phones and social media activity.”
The more than 80 special exhibits always feature some of the hottest new products that often come out before they hit retail shelves. Leashed dogs are always welcome, and several area rescue groups with adoptable animals will be on hand.
Popular performers and presenters include Gail Mirabella and the Dynomite Dogs, Johnny Peers Muttville Comix, the Dog Lovers Lure Course, A Flyball Tournament, Rainforest Reptiles, Rabbit Hopping, a TICA Cat Show, and a special alpaca exhibit.
The Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo isn’t just about dogs and cats. A variety of rescue and adoption agencies will be on hand for adoptions. There will also be a petting zoo, pony rides and a chance to learn about and meet alpacas.
“We always have fun at these events, but we are also strong believers in responsible pet ownership and human values when it comes to all issues involving animals and pets,” Garetano said. “We partner with several community organizations, shelters, veterinarians, and other animal lovers to educate and inform about best practices in training, feeding, and all aspects of pet care.”
Community and rescue organizations participating in the show include Greater Philadelphia Search & Rescue, Noah’s Ark Rescue & Sanctuary, Brandywine SPCA, The Philly Bully Team, PinUps for Pitbulls, Forgotten Felines of Maine Animal Rescue, Forever Your Rescue and 3 Husketeers Rescue.
The event is expected to draw over 10,000 attendees over the weekend. Friday, March 11 is family night and kids under 12 are free, and the rest of the weekend adult admission is $15. Children 3-11 are $6 and children under three are always free. Friday hours are 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., Saturday March 12 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday March 13 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (631) 423-0620 or visit www.familypetshows.com.
About this year’s featured artists/presenters:
• Gail Mirabella and The Dynamo Dogs Variety Act! – You can teach your old dog new tricks – these veteran dogs will knock the viewer’s socks off with their Trick Dog Show routine, Frisbee Dog Acrobatics and dynamite performances. Gail and her canine friends will wow the crowd as they do across the country.
• Johnny Peers Muttville Comix —- Sit down, get ready to scream! Johnny Peers and his dogs with strong personalities will be there to tickle your funny bone! Johnny’s show is perfect for the whole family. The stars of his show are rescue dogs like Daphne, the world’s only skateboarding basset hound, Squeaky the ladder-climbing fox terrier, Mr. Pepe who only responds to commands in Spanish and many other adorable pooches!
• Dog Lover’s Day Lure Class — This popular event is back! Dogs will have fun running the lure course and testing their agility while releasing energy! Dogs love to run this course and it’s a pleasure to watch!
• Rainforest Reptile Show – an exciting and fascinating adventure through the world of rare and endangered reptiles! Many exotic reptiles will be on show for children and adults to learn about.
• Flyball Tournament by Hard Drive Flyball Club — The ultimate relay race for dogs! Flyball is one of the fastest dog sports we have and is made up of dog teams. Fur flying fun – dog racing in a blur – pure excitement! Spectators will cheer in disbelief at the speed, precision and teamwork that is Flyball.
• TICA Championship Cat Show — For cat lovers who have never attended a cat show, this is a “pure” way to see all the different breeds of cats up close.
• Rabbit Hopping — Rabbit Hopping isn’t bunny hop you think of, it’s talented bunnies who love to jump! The Allikatt Bunnies will be presenting a bunny hopping agility demonstration all weekend – and there will be demonstrations and there will even be a seminar so you can learn how to get involved in the sport with your very own hare.
• Alpacas – Meet the sweetest, cutest and cuddliest creature you will ever meet. You can see colorful and soft alpacas in the area where you can meet them up close and personal, and have the opportunity to smell what is called the “softest fiber” in the world – baby alpaca fleece! There will be an educational exhibit where you can learn more about these beautiful animals.
• AKC Good Citizen Testing — Testing will be offered at the show. All breeds and mixed breeds are welcome, please check the website for more information.
Note: Participants are encouraged to bring their well-behaved pets to the Expo. There are some regulations and restrictions by COVID. Check the event website at www.familypetshows.com for up-to-date information.