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The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

The University of Pittsburgh's Daily Student Newspaper

The Pitt News

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Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
By Grace McNally, Staff Writer • June 13, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

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Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
Pitt track and field athlete inducted into Delaware Sports Museum & Hall of Fame
By Grace McNally, Staff Writer • June 13, 2024
Opinion | Long-distance friendships are possible
By Livia LaMarca, Assistant Opinions Editor • June 6, 2024

Pet Expo attracts furry, scaly and feathered companions to Pittsburgh

A+hog+wears+a+pair+of+sunglasses+during+the+Pittsburgh+Pet+Expo+this+Sunday+at+the+David+L.+Lawrence+Convention+Center.
Pamela Smith | Contributing Editor
A hog wears a pair of sunglasses during the Pittsburgh Pet Expo this Sunday at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center.

Amid resounding cheers and barks, a dog jumped off a diving platform, caught a ball mid-air and crashed into the pool. Nearby, dogs sped through an agility course, expertly weaving and jumping through obstacles. On the opposite side of the room, a much slower yet equally heart-pounding competition took place at the turtle racing station. 

These were just a few of the numerous attractions at the annual Pittsburgh Pet Expo, held at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center in downtown Pittsburgh. The expo was an all-weekend affair, from Nov. 3 to 5, bringing together nearly 20,000 pet owners and animal enthusiasts from the greater Pittsburgh region and beyond. 

The expo consisted of over 250 animal exhibitors and businesses, with ongoing events throughout the weekend. One of the highlights was the dachshund races. Debby Beer, who was wheeling four dachshunds around the event in a stroller, said she looks forward to having her dogs participate every year.

“We come here for the dachshund races. This is our 13th year coming. Just two of them, the younger ones, are participating this year,” she said, pointing to two of the dachshunds in the stroller who were excitedly jumping up to say hello. 

Another crowd-pleaser was the reptile station, where attendees could interact with snakes, lizards and even a giant tortoise. Reptile enthusiasts from the non-profit organization Reptile Adventures managed the station. The organization’s co-owners, Joanna Hernandez and her husband Paul Hernandez, are based in Columbus, Ohio. Joanna Hernandez said they traveled to the pet expo to exhibit their sizable collection of reptiles.

“We own Reptile Adventures and have 80 ambassador animals. Some of them we paid for and some of them were surrendered to us,” Hernandez said. “We go all over Ohio to schools, libraries, churches and personal parties. We bring the animals to you!” 

Hernandez said it’s exciting to have so many animal-related local businesses getting to highlight their work. 

“I love it! I see so many different people,” Hernandez said. “They’re bringing their homemade goods and their small business out to the public, which I think is fantastic.” 

Heart & Soul Parrot Rescue of West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, was another organization showcased at the expo. One organization member, Jerry Johnson, said Heart & Soul’s primary goal in attending the Pet Expo was to educate the public on parrots and the organization’s rescue work. 

“[The expo] is how we get our word out and educate and train,” Johnson said, gesturing to an eclectus parrot perched on his shoulder. “She’s a female eclectus. Her owner passed away, that’s why she came to us. They’re all rescues. We have about 60 birds in total right now.”

One of the liveliest personalities at the expo was Dayvonne Hall, a security guard working the event, who enthusiastically welcomed every attendee and pet. He said the diversity of the animals was astounding. 

“This is just unbelievably the best pet show,” Hall said. “The variety is past the clouds.”

About the Contributor
Casey Carter, Senior Staff Writer
Casey Carter is a sophomore communications major with certificates in digital media and sustainability. She is a firm believer that a good walk can solve almost anything and loves the outdoors. In her free time, she also enjoys going to coffee shops, thrifting and watching movies with her roommates.