Greenbelt Pet Expo
Greenbelt’s annual Pet Expo takes place in May both inside and outside the Community Center and features information tables, demonstrations, a rabies clinic, and a companion animal beauty contest.
Shawnne Spencer (right, D.V.M., Doctor of Veterinary Medicine) and Rebecca Myers (left) of Beltsville Veterinary Hospital give a dog a rabies shot in front of the Greenbelt Community Center.
A cat gets a rabies shot.
Steve Chappin, Disease Control Specialist at Prince George’s County Health Department, who is at the Expo, tells me that currently dogs, cats, and ferrets are legally required to have rabies shots. If the animal is under one year old, the vaccine is valid for one year; if the owner brings proof of current vaccination, it will be valid for three years. It costs $10 to get a rabies shot at today’s clinic. Chappin says that his department held an clinic in April in Fort Washington and will have another one in June in Bowie.
Ginny May (center) is a volunteer at the Washington Humane Society. She has a table by the rabies clinic. She tells me that the Humane Society operates a National Capital Area Spay and Neuter Center near the Washington Navy Yard and animals from Greenbelt Animal Shelter are neutered there. The cost is $130 per dog or $70 per cat. The center also has a low-cost vaccination clinic where a rabies shot also costs $10.
Sign for Pet Expo at the Community Center
Information tables are set up in the Community gym. Clicker Savvy Canines (CSC) “is a training business that provides positive in-home training for people and their pets. We specialize in helping families teach their pets the basic skills and manners for living a happy and healthy life together. CSC also provides behavior modification for dogs with specific behavioral needs. We use Positive Reinforcement methods including Clickers, treats, toys, and attention/praise.” Here Joanne Pazmino hands out treats for humans (note the candy bowl on the left) and dogs (Bravo! Premium Freeze-Dried Training Treats: Trail Mix).
For one day of the year, the Community Center gym is occupied by animals.
Lexi Hayes-Gary holds Tweek, her one-and-a-half-year-old agouti rat. She says that she has 14 rats, 2 boys and 12 girls, and Tweek is the sweetest.
A contestant in the Furry Mr./Ms. Greenbelt contest. “Cricket’s talent is looking cute. Her mommy is a hair stylist.”
Patty Muldowney walks with her Great Dane Zena “whose special talent is drooling everywhere and blowing spit bubbles.”
Freasky, a rat terrier, performs tricks with Joelyne King.
The judges are deliberating.
The contestants are waiting.
Freasky wins the 2012 Furry Mr. Greenbelt title. His owner Joelyne King tells me that Freasky is nine years old and was adopted from the Montgomery County Humane Society in Rockville. On the right is Susie Hall, Greenbelt’s Animal Control Officer.
The black dog is Chance, a six-year-old beagle, and the white dog is Lizzy, a two-year-old Dalmatian mix. Their owners tell me that the two dogs know each other from taking classes at Greenbelt Dog Training with Mr. Allie Lee and they are just playing around.
Petfinder “is an online, searchable database of animals who need homes. It is also a directory of more than 13,000 animal shelters and adoption organizations across the U.S., Canada and Mexico.” Here behind the table, Amanda Leonard is the website’s Shelter Outreach Specialist, and she has pens and stickers with the Petfinder.com logo.
A.P.A.W. Veterinary Hospital and Wellness Center “is a full service, privately owned veterinary hospital specializing in the care of dogs, cats, rabbits, ferrets, and pocket pets.” It is on Good Luck Road in Lanham next to Doctors Community Hospital. Here Dr. Shari Boyce (right) and office manager Rebecca Schwobel say hello to Heiko, a one-year-old German shepherd. On the left is Heiko’s owner Audrey Jellison who is visiting Greenbelt from Minnesota.
Sue Levin’s 6-year-old beagle Chance performs outside the Community Center with the Greenbelt Dog Training group.
Allie Lee of Greenbelt Dog Training plays a CD on the gym stage. Greenbelt Dog Training offers a variety of dog training classes at all levels and the group meets at the Greenbelt Volunteer Fire Department on Crescent Road. Allie Lee, owner and director of Greenbelt Dog Training, is a professional obedience instructor and has over 35 years teaching experience. He also conducts a parade drill team which is ubiquitous at parades all over the Greater Washington region and has won many awards.
Peggy Derosa with Gracie and Mandy after their performance
Kim Stark comes to the Expo with her African pygmy hedgehog, who is nocturnal and is sound asleep.
Kris White (right) is the Chair of the GHI Companion Animal Committee. “The Companion Animal Committee (CAC) advocates for proper care and well-being of companion animals in GHI. CAC will work with Member Services in resolution of companion animal issues, educate members concerning responsible guardianship, and participate in activities that promote animal welfare.” The Committee’s table has several handouts: “Why Clean Up Animal Waste?” “The Truth about Cats and Wildlife,” and “Top Ten List for Responsible Guardianship of Companion Animals and Wildlife in GHI.”
White has brought to the Expo two of her three dogs: Tara, a Jack Russell Terrier, and Puddin, an Irish lurcher adopted from Limerick, Ireland. She says that her third dog is not as socialable so it is at home.
Bill Norwood walks around with his cat Deluca sitting on his shoulders. He says that Deluca is an American Shorthair and ten years old. She used to live with his daughter in Florida and was trained as a kitten to ride on children. She has been living with him here in Greenbelt for about a year. Last year, Deluca got lost for a week but eventually found home. Norwood says that Deluca is quite social and is cool with sitting on his shoulders and meeting people.
Gena Wilson is an animal communicator: “Spring special pet readings today for your pets will be at a special rate of $20 per pet – Yes I can read even if your pet is not here with you today or is in spirit.”
Gena Wilson shows her deck of Reiki Divination Cards. She tells me that she has read for dogs, cats, birds, dolphins, and a variety of other animals. She prefers to look into the animals’ eyes but can also connect with them through the owner.
Timothy Saffell is the president of Prince Georges Feral Friends, SPCA. “S.P.C.A. is used in animal welfare circles as an acronym for Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.” He has a variety of handouts including “What the Law says about Feral Cats in Prince Georges County Maryland,” “Important Information about Free-roaming Cats in your Neighborhood,” “What is a ‘No Kill’ Shelter? And Can it Work in Prince George’s County, Maryland?” and “Holistic Health Care for Pets.”
From left are Teresa Maxwell, Greenbelt Animal Shelter volunteer, Kim DeAngelis, Animal Shelter Manager, and Lauren Derise, Animal Control Officer.