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AFPE Lets The Furry, Scaly And Finned Fun Fly!

America’s Family Pet Expo hits Southern California this weekend on a mission to help people learn more about their pets and pet products, or even to adopt a pet.

Marylou Zarbock
Posted: April 21, 2014, 7:35 p.m. EDT

An invasion of cuteness is coming to Southern California! Touted as the world’s largest consumer pet and pet products expo, America’s Family Pet Expo is returning to the OC Fair & Event Center this weekend, April 25 to 27. This year marks the 25th anniversary of AFPE.

Dogs, cats, birds, fishreptiles and, of course, small animal pets are the focus. The expo expects more than 400 exhibitors, including rescue groups, product manufacturers and retailers.

The expo offers a chance to see these types of pets, learn more about them, see products and services geared toward pets, and, yes, even adopt a pet. It also has interesting events, including wiener dog races, dock-diving Splash Dogs, a cat show presentation, a bird show with the Birdman of Las Vegas, the kid’s aquarium contest results, and Repticon, which is a reptile show taking place within AFPE.

rat on hand
© Marylou Zarbock
Did you know that rats and mice come in many varieties of colors and patterns?

For small animal enthusiasts, some of the highlights include the booth of the American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association. Karen Robbins of the AFRMA said its booth will have lots of posters and people there to answer questions about rats and mice as pets.

"We also have rats and mice on display of various colors along with sample cage setups,” Robbins said. "We are there to let people know about rat and mouse shows, the qualities of rats and mice as pets, and to hand out lots of free literature to educate everyone.”

rabbits in hideout
© Marylou Zarbock
Rabbits at the Bunny Bunch booth are shown in a "home" setting.

Although rabbits fill the majority of its rescue, the Bunny Bunch S.P.C.R. is about more than just bunnies. The Guinea Gang and Chin Homes In Need will both have representatives of the species at the booth, said Caroline Charland, president and founder of the Bunny Bunch. Plus, "Bunny Bunch will have rabbits there in a house setting so you can see how they can live in your home,” she said.

Charland said volunteers at the booth can answer questions and lots of educational materials are available. If shopping is your goal, and you’re searching for a gift for your rabbitguinea pig or chinchilla, the booth also features the Bunny Bunch Boutique, which stocks all kinds of treats, chews and toys, willow tents, balls, herb and flower hays and carrot houses.

Event Info
AFPE asks people not to bring their pets.
Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.;
Saturday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.;
Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Tickets can be purchased online beforehand to save waiting in line at the event.
See Schedule: Click here>>

Ferrets are illegal to own as pets in the state of California. Stop by the Ferrets Anonymous group’s booth in Building 12 to find out why and the status on efforts to get ownership legalized. You can also shop! "We will have polar fleece blankets, stuffed ferrets, photo albums, 2014 ferret calendars and other ferret items," said Claudia T. of the Los Angeles/San Gabriel chapter of Ferrets Anonymous. 

This scratches the surface of what visitors can do at America’s Family Pet Expo. To really know what it’s like, you need to attend. The weather forecast for the weekend is 67 to 71 degrees Fahrenheit for the high, varying from partly cloudy on Friday and Saturday to sunny on Sunday. Most booths are located inside buildings, but some events take place outdoors.

Like this article? Check Out:
America's Family Pet Expo Breaks Animal Adoption Record Again, click here>>
Take A Tour Of America's Family Pet Expo, click here>> (slide show)

Posted: April 21, 2014, 7:35 p.m. EDT

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