When the 23rd annual America’s Family Pet Expo (Pet Expo) returns to Orange County, it will be a red carpet worthy event for television and film’s biggest four-legged and feathered stars. Award-winning canines, felines and birds will make a series of guest appearances throughout the 3-day Expo, April 20-22 at the OC Fair and Event Center in Costa Mesa.
“The 2012 America’s Family Pet Expo will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see a collection of Hollywood pets currently starring in a number of popular film and television shows,” says Doug Poindexter, President of the World Pet Association, producers of the America’s Family Pet Expo. “We are honored to feature them and their contribution to pop culture in this year’s show programming.”
During the weekend, Pet Expo guests can meet their favorite furry and winged stars and learn about the important roles pets play in television and movies. Featured celebrity pets include Angel and Rusco who star as Chloe and Papi from Disney’s “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” franchise, Stella from “Modern Family”, Yakult from ABC’s “Surburgatory,” Charlie the cat from Disney Channel’s “A.N.T. Farm”, Owen the cockatiel from Disney Channel’s “Austin & Ally”, and Suzie Q who portrays Jim on CBS’ “Mike & Molly,” with additional names to be announced in the coming weeks.
And, for the first time ever, the Pet Expo will open its’ doors to man’s best friend. On “Fido Friday” April 20th from 10am to 6pm, dogs will be allowed inside designated locations of the Expo area.
“By hosting these special members of the family, ‘Fido Friday’ adds a whole new dimension to the guest’s show experience,” said Poindexter. “Now, everyone can enjoy themselves with their dog.”
Prior to packing up the pooch, guests are encouraged to visit http://www.petexpooc.org/fido-friday to review the “Fido Friday” guidelines. All dogs must be on a non-retractable leash, over 4-months of age, spayed or neutered, and non-aggressive in nature. All owners must abide by the “potty area” locations and bring their own bags to collect waste. There is a maximum of one-dog per adult, and its owner must be older than 18-years of age.
The America’s Family Pet Expo will bring together thousands of unique and rare animals, including its’ first-ever Reptile Sale and Show. Twenty percent of all reptile booth sales at the show will benefit The United States Association of Reptile Keepers (USARK), an education and advocacy group promoting awareness and responsible care of reptiles. From lizards, snakes, to tarantulas – of all colors, shapes and sizes – adults and kids will have the opportunity to interact with hands-on demonstrations, touching and holding.
“To have a snake around your neck, or come nose-to-nose with a lizard is a unique experience,” said Poindexter. “By getting to know these animals on a personal level is the first step on how to be a responsible owner and choosing which species is right for them.”
Audiences will be thrilled and captivated with a lively round-up of animal themed entertainment such as the “Kids Aquarium Contest,” “Salute to Hollywood Pets Parade,” “JUMP! The Ultimate Dog Show,” “Splash Dogs,” “Joe Krathwohl: The Birdman of Las Vegas, ” along with wiener dog races, daring police and search dog demonstrations, and a special announcement from the canine stars of Disney’s “Beverly Hills Chihuahua” franchise.
The Pet Expo continues its tradition of featuring dogs, cats, equine, birds, fish, llamas, pot bellied pigs, goats, rats, reptiles, rabbits and miniature horses – all of whom will be on display in fun and interactive stage shows, competitions and demonstrations. Guests can learn the latest in pet trends and care from the Pet Expo’s 400 exhibitors and sponsors such as The IAMS Company, VCA Animal Hospitals and Canidae.
Maintaining its commitment to responsible pet care and ownership, America’s Family Pet Expo offers hundreds of booth spaces to local pet rescues and shelters for onsite pet adoptions. VCA Animal Hospitals, pet adoption sponsor, will support the onsite shelter/rescue organization's efforts to ensure each adoptee has a healthy start by offering free cursory exams on site and a certificate for a free first exam at one of the local VCA hospitals.
In 2011, more than 680 animals were adopted at the show. This year, hundreds of animals will be available for placement into loving “forever” homes from rescue groups including No Stray Left Behind, Southern California Labrador Retriever Rescue and Barks of Love. Phelan, CA based Forever Wild Exotic Animal Sanctuary, a private non-profit, rescue and rehabilitation organization for captive-bred exotic animals will be present with its array of exotic animals for educational experiences.
“With the Pet Expo’s amazing show lineup of celebrity pets, reptile sale, aquarium contest to action-packed animal activities and exhibitors, there’s something for everyone,” said Poindexter. “We’re proud to be an all-inclusive show for animal care, serve as an educational and entertainment platform, and most importantly a venue where the bond between humans and animals is strengthened.”
The America’s Family Pet Expo is created, produced and managed by World Pet Association, Inc., a 60-year-old nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting responsible pet care.
General Admission, $12.00; seniors 60 and over, $10.00. Children 6-12, $6.00. 5 yrs and under, free. Special show pricing - save $2 off general admission tickets by purchasing online. Show hours: Friday 10am-6pm; Saturday 10am-7pm; Sunday 10am-6pm. OC Fair and Event Center, 88 Fair Drive, Costa Mesa 92626. Parking is $5. For more information and to purchase tickets visit www.PetExpoOC.org.
**High resolution photography available upon request**
The World Pet Association is the oldest industry organization promoting responsible growth and development of the companion pet and related products and services. As society’s “humanization” of pets grows stronger, WPA knows it is important to inform and educate the general public to ensure safe and healthy lifestyles for our animal friends. For more information on WPA or to sign up for Pet Industry Briefs, please visit www.worldpetassociation.org.