Pets of all kinds rock at this S. Florida expo

Don't feel like sitting or staying? You might want to check out West Palm Beach's South Florida Pet Expo on March 15 and fetch free goodies, low-cost veterinary care and plenty of fun for you and your animal friend.

The free indoor event, at the South Florida Expo Center, 9067 Southern Blvd., is expected to feature about 100 vendors and up to 13,000 visitors (including not only dogs but cats, snakes, bunnies and ferrets). Activities include a costume contest, talent show and a chance to meet Shorty Rossi and his pitbull sidekick, Hercules, the stars of Animal Planet's "Pit Boss" TV show.

Owners are asked to follow general pet-iquette: Animals should have up-to-date shots; dogs must be on fixed leashes and cats in carriers; and people must clean up after their pets. Aggressive or easily stressed pets will be happier at home, said Patti Welch, marketing vice president for Amazing Pet Expos, which produces shows nationwide.

"We welcome all types of pets unless it was something, like, a tiger," she added.

One thing you won't find there: animal breeders or pets for sale. Organizers work with local animal rescue groups, Welch said.

"The expo is such a fun, happy event. We always adopt out every dog we bring," said Tamera DeMello, president and founder of Animal Aid. Her rescue group has an adoption center in Oakland Park and a mobile unit that provides affordable care throughout South Florida. Animal Aid will offer microchipping for $20, annual cat or dog vaccines for $15, and flea and tick treatments at reduced prices.

Info: southfloridapetexpo.com, 800-977-3609

— Diane C. Lade

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