The Super Pet Expo is held every year at the Dulles Expo Center in Chantilly, VA. Rescues, vendors, and services all show up at the event, and you’re welcome to bring your furry friends along too.
The expo this year was March 18-20, but I only visited on the 20th. For most people, you only need to show up for one day to get through all of the booths. If you’re a cat person like me, then a forewarning: this is a primarily dog-centric event. This isn’t a terrible thing if you enjoy watching all of the different dogs, but you’ll find vendor pickings are a lot slimmer for cat-centric people.
A shout out to a small independent vendor that came for us kitty people, Seeka Designs. They came armed with stacks of donut shaped organic catnip toys. I bought two, one for my cats and one for Tinker and Bell currently living in my bathroom. The two feral kittens may be shy, but Tinker isn’t shy about loving that donut toy. It’s already dark and gross from play.
They had all of the rescues in the far aisle closest to the concessions and bathrooms. As usual, the only cat focused group present was Only Maine Coons Rescue. OMC came with their ambassador, Sir Purrs a Lot (pictured above). Purrs is a 9 year old Maine Coon mix that was found as a kitten abandoned in a box. He has a wonderful temperament, so he poses at their table during events and gives the breed a good name (he informed us when he had to go potty, and his mama brought out the litter box. How’s that for a good cat?)
Madison-Greene attended the Pet Expo once, but decided it wasn’t lucrative enough to return. Rescues get a discounted rate for booth space, but MGHS doesn’t sell anything, and no one goes to the Expo looking to adopt a pet the way they would at the Capital Cat Show, so money was lost. There’s also the aforementioned dog-centric nature of the event.
The other rescues included dog breed-specific rescues (BullyPaws was in attendance), and a handful of rescues that did cats and dogs. There was one Rabbit rescue too. You can’t see very well, but the photo below is of a bunny in a stroller. It was leashed to the stroller, enjoying its grass as the owner walked down the aisles shopping.
For rescues, it isn’t always about making money at the expo but rather networking. Different vendors approach the rescues to donate goods, offer goods at discounted prices, or offer to help host adoption events in their stores. Thanks to PetValu, I went home with a box full of free food samples for my foster animals. I sat on my kitchen floor opening all of the sample bags and putting them in a sealable container, but it was enough to fill a BIG container. With a house of 4-9 cats (it fluctuates a lot), you go through a lot of food, so donations like these really help.
In general, it’s a fun event to go and experience. If you’re a dog person, go one of the three days. If you’re only a cat person, and don’t work in rescue, just go once or twice in your lifetime and you’ll probably be okay.