By LOIS KINDLE
There’s no getting around it. People love their pets, and the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce will host its first ever Pet Expo this month to showcase the products, services and organizations locally dedicated to care for them.
“For most of us, pets are very much a part of the family,” said Lynne Conlan, the chamber’s executive director. “So we felt this kind of event would have great appeal to the public.”
The expo will take place rain or shine Nov. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at St. Andrew Presbyterian Church, 1239 Del Webb Blvd. W, Sun City Center. Residents and their pets from Sun City Center and surrounding communities are welcome. All animals must be leashed or contained, and the church has requested there be NO large reptiles.
The event will include a pet blessing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., courtesy of St. Andrew’s, and all kinds of pet-related vendors. Some of those participating include Adogable Pet Services, Bark ’n Purr Pet Emporium and Walk-in Veterinary Care; Oliver & Company Pet Sitting and All About Paws Pet Services; Lap of Love Veterinary Hospice, Honor Thy Pet and Kittie Corral; Critter Mama Rescue, Feline Folks, the Critter Adoption and Rescue Effort no-kill shelter; and Kramer Art Productions, a company that does pet portraits.
Southeastern Guide Dogs is bringing some of its incredible dogs, the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is featuring its Canine Unit and Hillsborough County Fire Rescue will be on hand to demonstrate its new, animal-sized oxygen masks for pets.
South Bay Hospital is sponsoring pet photos with Santa.
There’s room for 40 vendors, and spots are filling up fast. Sponsorship opportunities also are available for businesses wanting to show their support. If you’d like your business or organization to take part, call Lynne or Sherell at 813-634-5111.
“This isn’t strictly a Sun City Center event,” Conlan said. “We invite everyone throughout the area to come see all the wide array of pet resources southern Hillsborough County has to offer.”
Admission is $5 per person. Children younger than 12 get in free. Proceeds will benefit the Sun City Center Area Chamber of Commerce and St. Andrew Presbyterian Church.
“The Pet Expo is an opportunity for people and their pets to come out and enjoy a unique community event,” said Shannon Mitchell, chairwoman of the expo committee. “It should be lots of fun.”