Annual Pet Expo Raises Funds For SPCA

April 30, 2018 GMT

WILKES-BARRE — Most of the pets brought their humans along to the second annual SPCA Pet Expo.

Dogs of all sizes and shapes sniffed their way around the 109th Field Artillery Armory on Sunday. A few cats and at least one snake were also seen.

The two-day expo was bigger and better than last year’s inaugural event, according to Todd Hevner, executive director of the SPCA of Luzerne County.

So many pet owners signed up for a rabies and microchip clinic that organizers had to close entries to the clinic ahead of schedule, Hevner said.

Vendors of pet products set up booths in the spacious armory, as did organizations devoted to causes such as therapy dogs and dog-training.


Animal welfare and rescue groups “are a community that works together,” Hevner said.

The expo featured well-known television personality and pit-bull advocate Luigi “Shorty” Rossi, former star of the reality series “Pit Boss,” on Animal Planet.

Rossi, one of the expo’s featured speakers, has a connection to Luzerne County.

For about a year in 2003, Rossi lived in the Glen Lyon section of Newport Twp., after he had difficulty finding a place that would permit him to move in with his multiple pit bulls, he said.

Though “Pit Boss” ended production years ago, Rossi continues his mission to make clear that pit bulls are no more dangerous than any other breed of strong dog, he said.

Rossi encouraged anyone who is thinking about rescuing or adopting a pit bull to consult with the shelter or foster family about the animal’s history and disposition.

Poor training of pit bulls and other dog breeds can “create aggression issues,” he said.

On the other side of the armory, human friends and canine siblings relaxed together near a row of food vendors.

Crys Jennings, of Trucksville, and Staci Miller, of Kingston, brought their miniature dachshunds to the expo.

Jennings’ dog, Bruno, eight months old, is the older brother of Miller’s four-month-old puppy, Maisy. Though born in different litters, they have the same father, Miller said.

Bruno, who would “bark at anything that’s not nailed down,” according to Jennings, got some needed socialization time as he met numerous other dogs Sunday.

“It’s a great experience for him, to get him socialized,” Jennings said.

The women said they wanted to show their support for the many organizations devoted to helping pets and animals that were represented at the expo.

“It supports a good cause,” Miller said.

Proceeds from the expo will help fund the SPCA’s mission, according to Hevner.

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