Zoey and Ziggy sat in their doggie stroller and basked in the fun of Saturday’s pet expo at the Hamburg Fairgrounds.
The two Chihuahuas were sporting new collars bought at the pet fair.
Both got a bunch of doggie treats to take home, too.
And Ziggy snagged first place in the canine freestyle dance contest, to boot.
“It’s a great event and a lot of fun,” said their owner, Melanie Neureuther, 39, of Cheektowaga. “If I can bring my dogs out to any event, I come.”
An estimated 2,500 people – quite few of them with their dogs – came to the Fairgrounds Event Center Saturday for the third annual Maddie’s Pet Rescue Project Pet Expo.
Billed as the largest pet expo in Western New York, the event was an opportunity for pet owners to check out a wide array of pet products and services offered by the more than 80 vendors, while providing owners the chance to adopt another cat or dog through one of the 29 animal rescue groups and shelters in attendance, said Kara Lee, project coordinator.
In addition, the expo served as a fundraiser for Maddie’s Pet Rescue Project, a campaign by several local agencies – including the SPCA Serving Erie County – to transform Erie County into a no-kill community by 2014, Lee said.
“As you can see, lots and lots of people have brought their dogs with them,” Lee said, as she scanned the Hamburg venue. “I can’t believe how many people brought their dogs.”
Breeds of all kinds – from border collies to dachshunds, Great Danes to Labs – sniffed out the variety of pet products and services with their owners.
Need a professional photo taken with your pet?
There’s Wide Eye Photos, a mobile pet photography studio based in Hamburg.
“We have a knack for getting the dogs to look their best,” said photographer Corky Giambra.
Need a place for your dog to swim?
Try Canine Splash in Riverside.
“It’s recreation and therapy,” said Jill Bernstein, one of the owners of the year-old business on Vulcan Street. “We get a lot of referrals from vets for post-surgery therapy.”
Thinking about burial arrangements for your pet?
Pine Rest Pet Cemetery is in West Seneca.
“We bury everything from birds to horses,” said longtime owner Edward Jordan. “I just buried a hedgehog a couple weeks ago.”
Dog owners Diane and Dennis Niespodzinski were among those taking in the pet expo for the first time Saturday. They came away with dog coats and edible bubbles for their two canines at home in Cheektowaga.
Dennis shook his head and made a face.
“I’m just amazed I’m here getting dog coats,” said Dennis, 52.
But then he pulled out his cellphone and proudly displayed a picture of his new pug, Tequila.