AP NEWS

Hard At Work (and Some Play) At Pet Expo 2019

April 6, 2019

I am home after an exciting weekend spent at the Luzerne County S.P.C.A. Pet Expo. The entire experience surpassed my highest expectations. The event was so well attended both days, and the marvelous vendors were too numerous to mention. So many wonderful products, so little money! I did treat myself to a T-shirt. There was truly something for everybody. And pet expos are not just for dogs, anymore. I also spotted a bearded dragon, parrot, rabbit, hamsters, a chicken, and the best dressed pig ever!! Oh, and the pig did paintings that were suitable for framing, I might add!! I did take all three dogs on Saturday, including puppy Rue! They were wonderfully behaved, but the packing involved with three dogs is similar to that of traveling with three small children! I was really beat on Saturday night and opted to take only Rue to the expo on Sunday. Of course a reader came over and had wanted to meet Swayze. I felt SO bad, but anticipated that this might happen. Loading/unloading all necessary equipment into my Beetle darn near killed me, and I have come to the realization that I must seek an affordable four-door vehicle to more easily and effectively transport my pets. Great patrons, great feedback I truly do appreciate the kind words and feedback I got from the many readers I met. As I stated before, writing my column each week is a labor of love. I am so happy to know that you find the information informative and that it has helped in situations that arise with your pets. I loved seeing old friends and making new ones. And speaking of old friends, I saw many friends at this venue that I have not seen for a long time, even years! A glorious reunion at the most wonderful gathering. Shelter director Todd Hevner was on the move constantly all weekend. He seemed to be in multiple places at the same time. I am not sure if my eyes were playing tricks on me or if he is that good! I managed to briefly pin Todd down to ask how things were going, and he was genuinely thrilled with the community response. Todd stated that the expo was not a collection of various vendors but rather a gathering of like-minded people all joined by our common love of animals and commitment to their welfare. A gathering of like-minded folk Having just rescued a puppy from a wonderful organization, I am very aware of the dedication of these individuals in their quest to find the perfect forever home for the animals in their charge. They work tirelessly in this quest, and I am in awe of their dedication and the effort they put forth to accomplish their goals. Rescue can be a very rewarding journey, but it can also be a very painful one. In a perfect world, every story would have a happy ending. But the reality is that it is not a perfect world. Animal lovers making an impact It is an animal lover’s responsibility to make a positive impact through adoption, fostering, donating, volunteering, and education. I met people at the pet expo who were animal lovers to the core. Their passion shone through in the way they spoke and interacted with the pets in attendance. It was obvious through the gestures, smiles, communication, and joy. Spending time with like-minded people, swapping stories and life experiences is just a feel-good experience all the way around. Questions about the adoption process Several folks attending the expo asked me about my adoption process with Rue, how I found him, etc. In the modern world, it is easy to search for available pets on-line. Shelter and rescue websites have available pets listed along with a picture and history. It is recommended that you fill out their application. This does not commit you to adopt that particular animal, but it expresses your serious interest in the pet and allows you to open lines of communication with the organization. They often might have received several inquiries about the same pet and must review applications of potential adopters to choose the ideal match. Not unlike a dating service! Once you’ve decided you want to adopt a pet, the next step is finding just the right one to fit in with your family — even if your family is just you and your future pet. Whether you head to your local shelter or start with a pet search online, the best approach is to think about the kind of personality that will be the best match for you. If you have a lot of time, patience and are willing to dedicate yourself to training classes, then it might be a good fit for you to adopt a puppy. Puppy adoption also means being prepared for messes, potty training and the danger of things getting chewed up. This I know!! Feline adoption Cat adoption, whether you’re looking for rescued kittens or full-grown cats, also means matching up your lifestyle with the individual cat. Do you love the idea of a feisty kitten who will want to play with everything he can get his paws into, or a mellower, older lap cat? Either way, rescue shelters are a great place from which to adopt. Shelter staff or rescue group volunteers are a great help in matching up pets with the right families. They truly care about the animals and can help people pick out pets whose personalities are a good fit with their lifestyle. Good things are worth the wait Finally, be patient in your search. All good things are worth waiting for. And be diligent in your continuing search. I was seeking an adult Aussie when I happened upon puppy Rue. I had not planned on another puppy, as Swayze is just turning one year old, but it was love at first sight. Now I am living in a frat house, with Swayze and Rue tearing through the house, racing and wrestling, sending things flying, while Smudge quietly observes from his perch on the back of the living room couch! Adoption process People who want to adopt a rescued dog or cat should come to the shelter or rescue group prepared to answer some questions about what sort of personality they’re looking for in a pet. Depending on whether you head to your local shelter or pet pound, or if you’re working with a no-kill pet rescue group, the adoption process will vary. Some city or county shelters only require that adopters bring a photo ID. Other shelters and most rescue groups ask potential adopters to fill out an application to adopt their pet of choice. Some organizations prefer to visit people’s homes before agreeing to send home a pet with a new family. Each organization has its own process based on its needs and the animals’ needs. There is typically a fee to adopt a pet, and it is almost always less than the cost of buying a pet. Each organization sets its own fees as well. It’s important to note that rescued pets for adoption are usually spayed or neutered, vaccinated and microchipped by the rescuing organization. I am extremely grateful to the organizations I have personally been involved with: Col. Potter Cairn Terrier Rescue, Australian Shepherds Furever, and the Luzerne County S.P.C.A. Thank you for my treasures: Smudge, Rue, and Monty the cat. Thank you to Luzerne County S.P.C.A. Director Todd Hevner, Events Coordinator Nancy Derwin, and all of the volunteers for the effort they put forth in organizing the spectacular Pet Expo 2019. Dog bless. Resource: bestfriends.org Judy Endo writes about pets. Contact her at judyendo@outlook.com