Local Events:






BY:  Cinema Latte

LOCATION: Palmer Events Center–900 Barton Springs Rd

DATE:  Saturday, August 18th

TIME:  10 AM to 6 PM


PARKING: Garage is $7 for most events with some “special event” parking rate of $10 when posted.  The last Mighty Texas Dog Walk back in March was free to park there.  You should come prepared to spend $10 per car to park in the garage to be safe.  There are some places along Barton Springs Road and surrounding neighborhoods that parking on the street is free, but you MUST pay attention to ALL parking signs along those roads. 

WHAT TO EXPECT:  TONS of free or discounted merchandise and fun stuff to do and try for you and your pet.  There will also be discounted adoption opportunities, discounted vaccinations, on-site low-cost micro-chipping for your pets, and free nail trimming.

 Last year’s event was held at the Travis County Expo Center and there were so many vendors and free stuff for pets that you needed a wheel-barrel to bring it to your car.  This year’s event will be held in the larger Palmer Events Center building and promises to be even bigger than year’s past.  Come prepared for lots of free trial size food, treats, and merchandise for your pet and you.  You will also have plenty of opportunities to shop pet-themed and non-pet themed vendors alike.

There will be plenty of rescue and adoption groups on hand if you are looking for a new family member.  They ask that if you are coming to find a new pet to bring home that you come prepared with leash, harness, muzzle restraint and/or carrier crate.  There will be some carrier crate and pet taxi vendors on hand, but they have always sold out of merchandise early.  So if you intend to adopt they ask that you arrive early to buy a crate on site before they are gone or to remember to bring your own.  There are none to be lent, borrowed, or rented at the facility/event.

There will be discounted vaccinations and low-cost micro-chipping on site.  There will also be free nail trimming. 

On hand will be a large number of vendors to make people aware of the many different services and products that pet owners can find in their city.  From Cancer treatment to potty training, from invisible fences to micro-chipping, from squeaky toys to custom turf…there is something for everyone and every pet.  You can also find plenty of organizations to become involved with, whether through donations or volunteering your time.

If you do not own a pet but would like to become involved with charity operations helping animals, this is a great place to see a lot of organizations in the area.  You will be able to get information on the organizations, talk to people involved, and get contacts for volunteer opportunities.  The same for if you are looking to eventually adopt an animal, this will give you a wide source of local vendors to ask questions and get information to help you make an informed decision for what pet would be best for you.

For those looking for celebrity encounter opportunities, the event will have Animal Planet’s “Pit Boss”, Shorty Rossi, available to sign his book and photos all day.  He charges a nominal fee for autographs and the fees and book sales go back to his Pit Bull rescue group, Shorty’s Pit Bull Rescue.  And yes, Hercules the wonder dog will be beside Shorty, as well. 

Also on hand will be Celebrity Pet Expert Harrison Forbes.  He will take the stage and answer your questions on dog training, behavior, and other dog related issues.  If you have a question about why your dog does what he does, this will be the perfect time to find out.

The event manager, Courtney Rydstrom adds, “A lot of people don’t realize all of the pet-friendly resources available to them in their communities and our goal is to help get that information out there. It’s a fun-filled day for pet owners – or those who’d one day like to be!”

This event is not just for the dogs.  There will be vendors covering reptiles, ferrets, rabbits, cats, and even birds.  Cats, ferrets, and rabbits are restricted to be in pet carriers ONLY due to the number of dogs that will be on site.  Please make sure that you do not bring any type of pet into a situation that could lead to disaster.  Again, please consider the safety of your pet and the patrons attending.  Remember that it is your responsibility to ensure the safety of your pet and those attending the event. There are several guidelines laid out by the event:

1. Only bring your pet along if it is well-behaved, non-aggressive and doesn’t get stressed out in crowded, stimulating and noisy situations. There are all kinds of other animals, small children, wheelchairs and lots of people at the event. Your pet will be exposed to dogs barking, people speaking loudly on microphones, crowds clapping and attendees cheering. You know your pet best, so please use your best judgment to make sure that your pet will enjoy the expo just as much as you will.

2. While we have a number of staff members who are always carefully watching the crowds and pets to ensure everyone stays safe, it only takes a second for a dog bite to occur. Please review safe dog (and all pets, for that matter) greeting behaviors with your children before attending the show. Remind your child to always ask the owner’s permission to pet an animal, allow the calm pet to sniff their hands and then they should gently pet the animal’s chest, chin or back (not the top of its head), speaking calmly and quietly to the pet. Children should never “stare down” a dog, jump on it, grab it from behind or scream at it. If a dog is hyper and won’t sit for the owner, walk away and don’t allow your child to pet the dog. Sometimes the most well behaved pets can be startled, especially if they’re already keyed up being at such an exciting event.

3. We only have a few rules for bringing pets: Your pet must be current on all shots or you should plan to have your pet’s immunizations updated at the event; low-cost vaccinations and microchipping are offered on-site. The immunization requirement only applies to dogs, cats and ferrets. A rabies tag is acceptable as proof of immunization, as are blood titer results for those pet owners who don’t immunize annually. Dogs must be on a fixed lead or a locked retractable lead, no longer than 6 feet, at all times. No female pets in heat can attend. You’ll be required to sign a pet waiver at the entrance, but you can avoid waiting in line by visiting the Austin Pet Expo website to fill your pet waiver form out in advance.

 4. Once inside, stop by the prize entry table to register for awesome giveaways and prizes from an abundance of exhibitors. Does your pet have an amazing talent or enjoy being the center of attention? Make sure to enter them in the pet talent and costume contests. These popular events (and the great winning prize packages) draw a large crowd!

 5. Bring cash. There are many opportunities for shopping and donations here and some rescue groups may not accept credit cards. There is an ATM on site as well.

 6. The Austin Pet Expo program includes all the vendor names and locations, a map of the show floor, as well as the full schedule of events and activities at the expo. You’ll be offered one at the entrance so make sure that you pick up your copy!

7. If you are interested in adopting a pet, the Mega-Adoption area could be just what you’re looking for, plus the majority of rescue groups have pets in their booths too. Hundreds of pets will be available for adoption or application (for those groups that don’t do on-site adoptions).

8. High traffic events for the day will be the presentations and autograph area for Shorty Rossi, the agility and activity courses, as well as the entertainment stage. You may want to take a moment, either before the event by looking online, or once you arrive, to review the show program so that you have a general idea of how you want to spend your time at the expo. Plus you don’t want to miss anything!

9. Take note of the pet-potty areas located indoors. While we do have pet clean-up teams at the event, you’ll also be given bags for your pet’s waste pick-up when you enter. Please be kind and pick up after your pet.

10. Pet water stations will be scattered throughout the expo so that your excited companion doesn’t get dehydrated. These are communal bowls, so if you have a puppy or elderly pet, please keep it safe and bring a travel or disposable bowl for their use.

11. This a large event. If you have a pet breed with you that can’t tolerate this kind of exertion, (for example, English Bulldogs), please plan to bring a stroller or wagon for them. While the event is indoors and air-conditioned, it’s a lot of exercise for breeds that don’t handle heat or exercise well.

12. Pace yourself! It’s a long day and there are many things to see. Make sure you take periodic breaks and give your pet a chance to rest – or step out of the expo for a few moments of quiet – if you plan to stay all day.

 13. Many exhibitors offer some sort of treat for pets. If your pet has a sensitive stomach or is super excited, you may want to consider allowing your pet one or two treats and then allowing her/him to enjoy the rest at home. We see a lot of dogs gobble up as many treats as possible only to – ahem – urp them up a few hours later.

 14. If you have a small or tiny dog, you may want to be prepared to either carry it or have a stroller available. There are so many large and super large dogs at the expos that some small pet owners feel overwhelmed and their little fur-babies may unintentionally get stepped on.

 15. If you are attending the expo with the intent of adopting a new family member, you may want to either bring a crate or some sort of car restraint with you or be prepared to purchase something along those lines at the show. We often have people ask us at the show if we have any boxes or crates that they can have/borrow. We don’t and cage/pet carriers may sell out. So either bring one with you or plan to arrive extra early so that you can make sure that a pet restraint is available for purchase.

 16. The asphalt throughout the parking lot can be extremely hot. It could easily burn your pets’ feet if your pet has to walk across it. Please consider putting booties or some sort of protective footwear on your four-legged friend.

Plan to spend the day taking advantage of this awesome event.  For more information, including a complete schedule of events and directions, visit www.austinpetexpo.com or www.facebook.com/austinpetexpo, or call toll free at 1.800.977.3609 or 1.855.PET.EXPO

Hope to see you there!

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