Dog enthusiasts and animal lovers of all kinds were in for the treats up for grabs last Sunday (November 12), at the True Pet Expo and German Shepherd All-Breed Championship.
The event made its return on the lawns of Hope Gardens in St Andrew with a day filled with lots of furry fun for attendees of all ages, both four legged and human.
The True Pet Expo was not just an event. It was a True celebration of the bond between humans and their beloved animal companions.
Tina Hamilton, senior pet manager at True Pet Food, was elated that her organisation was able to again bring pet lovers and pets alike to enjoy wholesome activities together, while dogs competed in German Shepherd All-Breed Championship in various categories.
“It’s really heart warming seeing the dogs come out to play. Many of them don’t really have an environment like this to just come out and be themselves [and] have fun,” Hamilton said.
She added that although it was a one-day event, there were numerous economical benefits for the pet industry of Jamaica.
“The exposition was created to help expose and build different areas of the industry. There are benefits all around. Proprietors of dog products and services get to have direct contact with their customers. Dog owners seeking services of groomers, trainers and vets get to see them work firsthand and get to see and purchase items like collars and leashes and beds made in Jamaica. The dogs of course are the biggest benefactors. Meeting other dogs and playing in a safe space,” she said.
For his part, Jalil Dabdoub, President, German Shepherd Club said he was happy to see pet lovers bringing their pets for show, especially the dogs for the German Shepherd All-Breed Championship.
With the Best Dog in Show (All Breeds) being an imported Timber Rottweiler dog which arrived in the island last Monday, Dabdoub said it goes to show the level of keen interest some Jamaicans have in pets.
“Jamaica has a small gene pool of any livestock, so if you’re going to keep improving the quality of the livestock, you’re going to need to keep bringing in new blood to put into the local breeding programme, so kudos to Warren for bringing in the dog,” Dabdoub said.
“It’s his [the Best Dog in Show’s] first show, and it seems to be a good review he got and obviously he won the best in show; the best local bred was a German shepherd dog and was reserved best in show,” he said.
During the event, there were forums with interesting True pet-based discussions on the topics: ‘Know Your Breed – German Shepherd;, training demonstration, adoption dos and don’ts, pet safety and ‘Ask the Vet’. There were free vet checks available from animal care and the Holistic Vet and several activities for dogs like the doggie fashion show, doggie race and agility park.
The event also included the True Pet Food Industry Awards in the two categories with the winners:
- Top pet/vet store – Super Pet and Garden Centre
- Top agri store – H&L Rapid True Value Sovereign
- Top wholesale/supermarket – General Foods Liguanea
- True’s Choice Award for Outstanding Contribution – Born Free Pet Center.
- Top overall retail award – H&L Agro Montego Bay
Industry stakeholder awards*
- Best veterinarian – Dr. Gavin Hall
- Top dog groomer – Deja’s Grooming / Deja Gordon
- Outstanding animal boarding house – Renee’s Palace
- Exceptional dog trainer – Dante Hamilton
- Exemplary dog breeder – Jalil Dabdoub
- Compassionate dog shelter/charity – Montego Bay Animal Haven
On special for the day were True Pawgarita and True Mai Tai-l specials for dogs made with True Pet Food. This was a new addition to the expo where we tried treating our pawsters to blended liquid treats to keep them refreshed throughout the day.