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Get involved with wonderful world of pets at Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo

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STORY WRITTEN BY BRIAN BINGAMAN 
bbingaman@21st-centurymedia.com
@brianbingaman on Twitter

Bunnies will be hopping, dogs will be performing tricks, and find out if a cat will willingly complete an agility course.
The Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo returns Feb. 19-21 at the Greater Philadelphia Expo Center.
That’s in Oaks, right?
It’s right off Route 422 at 100 Station Ave., Upper Providence. If you’re using GPS, type in 1601 Egypt Road, Phoenixville.
When will it be open?
Show hours are 4 to 9 p.m. Feb. 19, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Feb. 20 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Feb. 21.
How much to get into the pet expo?
Admission is $12, $5 for children 11 and under, free to children under 3, and to all kids 12 and under for Family Night on Friday. Discount tickets can be found at www.familypetshows.com.
Can I bring my pet?
Well-behaved, leashed dogs are allowed. Also, guests can participate with their purebred dog in the Parade of Breeds. To participate in this, go to the website and fill out the form or contact Karen@FamilyPetShows.com. You may end up leaving with a new pet because area rescue groups, with adoptable pets, will be on hand.
What kind of exotic animals will be there?
Alpacas, angora rabbits and a Rainforest Reptile Show will be among the unusual critters. One of the new attractions is rabbit hopping. Allikatt’s Bunnies will present rabbit agility demos all weekend, and there will even be a seminar so you can learn how to get involved in this sport with your own hare.
Did I read that right that there will be a feline agility course?
Reportedly some kitties take their sweet time, while other cats go right through it.
What about birds?
The Delco Bird Club will be there, with various species of birds and to provide information on pet care, diet and information on their birds’ natural habitat.
Any other special attractions?
The expo will feature pet-related vendors, educational and entertaining performances, a petting zoo, pony rides and a variety of dog sporting competitions, such as “flyball” — a canine team relay race; and Gail Mirabella and The Dynamo Dogs, who will perform their Trick Dog Show routine, Frisbee dog acrobatics and more. New this year are explosive detection dog demos by Graffight of Joe’s K9 Dog Training; plus disaster working dogs showing how they find missing people in emergency situations with ladder, plank and agility skills on a mock disaster course.
How many people come out for this?
The event is expected to draw more than 10,000 attendees over the weekend.
Show organizer Karen Garetano of Family Pet Shows said in a press release: “At this year’s Philadelphia pet expo, we are pleased to have back the flyball competition, which was a big hit at last year’s show among spectators. And new to the show this year is the Allikatt Bunnies Rabbit Hopping. It’s something you more than likely haven’t see before, and the bunnies really get into it. We have many wonderful talented pets and handlers again at our show this year, and Philly is one of our biggest pet expos. 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.
We strive to make our events family- and pet-friendly and we highly endorse responsible pet ownership. The expo is also the perfect way for pet parents to shop and meet with vendors with new pet products in the market.”

Alpacas will be among the critters at the 2016 Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo. Submitted photo

Alpacas will be among the critters at the 2016 Greater Philadelphia Pet Expo.
Submitted photo

Yes. Garetano, who runs Family Pet Shows with her husband, Dennis, and their son, Joe, introduced that show in 1994. The company now hosts seven different pet expos annually in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
For vendor space, or how to become a sponsor, call (631) 423-0620 or email dennis@familypetshows.com.

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