Calling all pet lovers

Not needing any charm after coming off of two successful years, the Central PA Pets Expo is back for a third time.

The features at the expo to be held at the Blair County Convention Center on Sunday, include Altoona Area Kennel Association demonstrations, educational seminars and nonprofit shelters and rescue organizations.

The show’s first two years welcomed about 4,500 visitors each year, said Amy Hanna, the show director and the Mirror’s marketing manager.

“This is now the third year and it was successful from year one. There hasn’t been a pet expo in this part of central Pennsylvania for several years so I was very anxious to have an opportunity to bring one back and obviously there was a very big audience for it,” she said.

“Each year, we try to do even bigger and better things and improve upon each show, so we’re really anxious for this year, as well, and excited,” she added.

The show stemmed from a desire to offer a day of family fun for all ages that is also educational, Hanna said.

People should not bring their own pets to the indoor show because so many animals are already on hand and medical records are needed for any animals present, she said.

Carol Bryant of the online magazine “Fidose of Reality” is bringing the fundraising group she helped create known as the Wigglebutt Warriors.

The Wigglebutt Warriors are holding an upcoming gala event, “Wigglebutts Go Hollywoof,” which is raising money for the Oldies But Goodies Cocker Spaniel Rescue, which is based out of Virginia, according to its website. The event will take place Sept. 13, 2014, at the Wilshire Grand Hotel in West Orange, N.J.

Each year the Wigglebutt Warriors, which got their name from the distinct way a cocker spaniel wags its tail, will host another gala event to raise money for a different nonprofit organization helping dogs, Bryant said.

The group raises funds for rescue groups to help dogs find forever homes, according to information from Bryant, who started the group with Val Sorensen and Darlene Bryant after holding a successful Wigglebutt Wedding in Connecticut in June. Cocker spaniels Dexter and Zoe, who represent the Wigglebutt Warriors, were “wed.”

Zoe was a rescue dog who was saved only a few hours before she was scheduled to be euthanized and “now she’s basically a princess bride and has gone on to do so many cool things in her life,” Bryant said.

She’s hoping expo visitors will stop at the booth “and have a good time and be able to pet the dogs, get their picture and have some fun,” she said.

Dogs aren’t the only animals attending the event.

John Lege, known as “That Guy With the Birds,” who hails from Armstrong County, will also be on hand with 20 to 25 of his feathered friends, he said.

Lege, who has rescued parrots for 33 years and started a rescue in 1980 for unwanted, abused and neglected birds, brings an “educational, entertaining program,” with the birds, he said.

The program will take place a couple of times during the expo, but people also can stop by and have birds perch on them and get pictures taken, he said.

Metzger Animal Hospital of State College is a sponsor of the event.

Veterinarian Dr. Fred Metzger said they plan on bringing the hospital’s certified veterinary chiropractor, Dr. Kevin McCarthy. Technicians and doctors will also be on hand to talk about the hospital’s canine rehabilitation center.

The hospital, which has two board-certified veterinarians and does referrals and second opinions, also offers emergency services 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, he said.

Metzger, who enjoys working with the rescues, said he loves when children attend the expo, offering a chance for an education on pet care and an opportunity for them to see different dogs and cats.

“We got a lot of attention last year and we met a lot of people and that was very cool,” he said.

Mirror Staff Writer Amanda Gabeletto is at 949-7030.