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Pet Expo set for April 20


By Melissa Robinson
Contributing Editor 

  Do you and your bulldog bear a striking resemblance to each other? Does your talented pooch know how to open the refrigerator and grab a snack? Does your mutt have the best Lady Gaga costume and is willing to show it off? Or are you simply an animal lover and want to support a good cause?

Pictured above: Students at ABC Montessori School help out at a recent Pet Expo. The fourth annual Pet Expo is to be held Saturday, April 20.                                           Special photo

  The fourth annual Pet Expo will be held on Saturday, April 20 at the Jason T. Harper Event Center at Heritage Park in McDonough from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. where organizers are expecting approximately 1,000 people, along with their furry or four-legged friends.

  Attendees can bring their pets on a leash to enter the contests such as the Pet Trick Contest, Owner/Pet Look-Alike Contest, and the Pet Costume Contest, where there will be different levels of prizes. A pet parade begins at 11 a.m. and the pet costume contest will take place at noon. The pet tricks competition begins at 1 p.m. and the owner/pet look-alike contest will be held at 2 p.m. All contests are free to enter and registration begins an hour prior to each contest. Pets must be leashed.

  There will also be activities for the kids including bounce houses, face painting, pony rides, live entertainment and an art contest for two age groups—one category for artists age 15 and under and a separate category for age 16 and over. Monetary prizes will be awarded for first and second place winners in each age group. Artwork must be submitted between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m. and the winners will be announced at 1 p.m.

  “We have tons of pet and family related vendors that will have their wares for purchase and people will be entertained with live music, eat great food and watch the K-9 demonstrations,” said pet expo volunteer Nyree Mereus. “We are really just looking to have another great year with the community that loves animals.”

  Hosted by the ABC Montessori School in McDonough, the event began as a way for students to complete service hours as part of their school’s curriculum. Kimberly Morey, Executive Director of ABC Montessori School, said is it was a great way to merge what the students were learning in school with a community service project. She said the school is very animal friendly, raising chickens and goats, and that the pet expo expands on that.

  “Our students contribute a lot of community service hours and they originally wanted to do a dog show that would bring people in the community together and be a service to the community, as well as entertain and educate, so that’s how the Pet Expo got its start,” said Morey.

  She said the students help plan the expo as well as run various booths, which helps them earn money toward their end-of-the-year school trip. One particular student even makes custom-made waterproof outerwear for dogs.

  Morey said there will be demonstrations and several animal groups will be represented, which will give those who are interested an opportunity to learn more about pet adoption and the various animal rescue groups in Henry County.

  “This is a great free event for the whole family where they will be entertained and educated. The contests are free to enter and there will be unique vendors as well,” said Morey. “There’s something for the whole family.”

  Heritage Park is located at 101 Lake Dow Rd. in McDonough. For more information, visit



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