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Thousands expected to attend LI pet expo

Michael K. Ralbovsky, herpetologist for the Rainforest Reptile

Michael K. Ralbovsky, herpetologist for the Rainforest Reptile Shows, shows the audience the teeth of an American alligator during the Long Island Pet Expo at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood. (March 3, 2012) Photo Credit: Ann Luk

Loretta Kotowicz added a new member to her family Saturday after checking out the Long Island Pet Expo.

The Riverhead woman adopted a black and white Cavalier King Charles Spaniel from the Watermill-based Pet Adoption World TV, one of the many pet adoption organizations participating in the expo at the Suffolk Community College Expo Center in Brentwood.

“I think we’re going to name her Angel,” said Kotowicz, 29.

Karen Garetano, promoter of the Long Island Pet Expo, expects about 10,000 to 12,000 people to attend throughout the weekend. The event which provides animal lovers a chance to adopt pets and educate themselves about different types of pets runs from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.

“At least half our show is the entertainment and the education part,” Garetano said.

Animal lovers were also offered complimentary first exams.

“We want to talk about great health care for pets,” said Matthew Cremen, regional operations director of VCA Animal Hospitals. “We really want to make sure people get the best health care for their pet and their family members.”

Children could touch reptiles from Jungle Bob’s Reptile World such as a ball python and a chameleon as they learned about the creatures.

“I’ve been working in animal education for the last 15 years,” said Bob Smith, owner of Jungle Bob’s Reptile World in Centereach.

During the “Dancing with your Dog” show, Diana Frohman, and her two golden retrievers showed off their freestyle dance moves. Other shows included a Classic K9 Dog Show, agility demonstrations and a flyball demonstration -- a sport for dogs similar to a relay race in which they use teamwork to jump over four hurdles to retrieve a ball.

“We really underestimate the intelligence of animals, they’re incredible,” said Hauppauge resident Lauren Cooper, 26, who has attended the event several times. “There’s something for fur lovers, there’s something for feather lovers, there’s something for scale lovers. There’s something for everyone.”

Photo: Michael K. Ralbovsky, herpetologist for the Rainforest Reptile Shows, shows the audience the teeth of an American alligator Saturday during the Long Island Pet Expo at Suffolk County Community College in Brentwood.

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