Do you have a four-legged friend at home? Are you looking to add one to your family?
Check out the ninth annual Fredericksburg Pet Expo at the Fredericksburg Expo and Conference Center this Saturday and Sunday in Fredericksburg, Virginia.
“The community appreciates what we bring to the area, the vendors come, we get different attractions and put it all together,” expo organizer David Kerper told WTOP. “Over the years … we’ve had some really cool things from Twiggy the Waterskiing Squirrel to petting zoos to alpacas to horses, so it’s a little bit different every year.”
This year has been particularly different due to the pandemic shutdown.
“We had shows in the spring that we did have to cancel: a craft show, home show,” Kerper said. “This was originally scheduled to be in September. … We’ve been pleasantly surprised with the feedback from both vendors and folks buying tickets. … Everybody’s gotta have a mask and they count how many people [go] in and out.”
Rather than a dog show with judges, this is an expo with various vendor tables.
“There’s local mom-and-pops that make their own items and products and provide services from duty calls to our sponsor Off Leash K9 Training,” Kerper said. “You can bring your pet, they can try on a leash, you can see how they interact with the trainers there. … We not only want pets to come, we encourage pets to come to the event.”
One of the most exciting highlights is the Dog Lure Course.
“They set up a course with a mechanical squirrel,” Kerper said. “For an additional $5 for your pet, he gets to chase this squirrel through this agility and obstacle course.”
Non-pet owners are also welcome, perhaps even to adopt a pet from local rescues.
“The Fredericksburg SPCA will be one of the first people you see on the way in,” Kerper said. “They may or may not have some of their animals available right there [in] a little fenced-in area. [Due to COVID-19], mostly what they’re gonna do is have it virtually. They’ll have pictures and video so you can meet Spike, Duke and Mistletoe.”
In the end, it’s just something fun for pet lovers to do after a year of quarantine.
“It’s just a happy place to be,” Kerper said. “You’re out and about with your four-legged, furry friend in a place where you are with like-minded folks. It’s funny watching these dogs interact when they’re out there on the floor. It’s like a social gathering for them.”