Pittsburgh Pet Expo's diverse attractions draw large crowd
The line for the 2017 Pittsburgh Pet Expo stretched the length of the David Lawrence Convention Center, Saturday with a 25 minute wait to get inside. Over 5,000 visitors helped make this year's event the largest pet expo on the East Coast. For Nichole Felouzis, the director of the Hancock County Animal Shelter of Hancock County, W. Va., all those visitors provided a great opportunity to find good homes for pets in their shelter.
“We're a small county in West Virginia so we don't get as much traffic through the shelter,” said Felouzis. “Coming here is wonderful. Getting six adoptions in one day is truly a blessing.”
The expo featured more than 200 pet-related booths, a pet costume contest, the North American Diving Dogs Competition, The International Cat Association's World of Cats Show and the first leg of the World Champion Model Dog Competition tour, a competition where groomers are judged on how creatively they style a plush model of a poodle. While this form of grooming competition is popular in Asia, the Pittsburgh Pet Expo's event marks the first of its kind in North America. Teams from South Korea, Taiwan and China were on hand to compete with a U.S. team.
For Caroline Shaffer of Blair, Ohio, the Expo is a chance for Jude, her chocolate lab, to get one last round of dog diving in before the winter. In dog diving, a dog's handler tosses a toy into a large pool and the dog jumps off a ramp into the water. Dogs are judged on the distance they jump.
“It's his favorite thing in the world and where I live, they only do it during the summertime,” said Shaffer. “So, I come up so he can at least get a couple of jumps in before the winter.”