Pets paraded at Expo Center

NILES – The Eastwood Expo Center was for the dogs. It was for the birds, cats and even pygmy goats and one donkey, too.

That’s because the Northeast Ohio Spring Pet Expo Show and Sale paraded into the 36,700-square-feet center on Saturday and Sunday for pet lovers to peruse most everything animal – more than 50 exhibitors were on hand, including pet charities and rescue organizations, trainers, groomers and bakers for those animal lovers who wanted to give their furry friends a pseudo-sweet treat.

There also was a petting zoo put on by Ponytails Petting Zoo of Austintown that let youngsters and adults get close to and feed a donkey, sheep, pygmy goats and a pair of 12-day-old pygmy goats that were kept warm with heat lamps. Rejected by their mother, the kids need to be fed by hand every four or so hours.

It was at the petting zoo that 11-year-old Kirsten Pitts and her brother, L.J., 8, fed the miniature goats.

”It tickles,” Kirsten told her brother, trying to convince her tentative younger sibling that it was OK to let the goats eat from his hand.

In addition, the pet expo featured a pet fashion show that had Heidi Baltzly drive the 120-or-so-mile round trip from Canton to participate with her 4-year-old Rottweiler, Panzer. The two dressed in colorful white and purple outfits with sequins, including a top hat that Panzer had difficulty keeping steady atop his head.

Master of ceremonies for the fashion show was local radio personality Chrissy Patrick.

Dogs definitely dominated the day, many – as small as a Chihuahua to as large as an American mastiff – were leashed and be walked by their owners, but in some cases, however, the owners were being walked by the dog.

Other animals, like birds from the Birds in Flight Sanctuary in Howland, were there to see and there were booths for cat lovers, too, however, few felines were visible, at least not as visible as the pooches, and that’s because, like show organizer, Judi Henninger, said, it’s tough to walk a cat on a leash.

The event was the seventh for the show.