Events Raises Pet Adoption Awareness, Connects The Public With Celebrity Pets Often Celebrated On Social Media, YouTube

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — There was an animal takeover at the Javits Center on Sunday.

People flocked to PetCon, an event showcasing the latest trends in the pet industry. It was attended by not only by pet lovers, but also by some of the most famous pets on social media, CBS2’s Clark Fouraker reported.

With their nails freshly painted, “Meadow” and “Lacy” were looking their best at PetCon, an all-animal event that mixes the latest rends with important causes.

“We think that rescuing a dog is much more important than finding a dog at a pet store,” Washington Heights resident Devora Moore said.

Animal lovers flocked to the Javits Center on Nov. 18, 2018, for PetCon. (Photo: CBS2)

The group that brought some dogs was looking for families to foster first, hoping a slower introduction to pet ownership will increase adoptions across the city.

“Everyone is so scared in New York because the apartments are so small, but in actual fact all of these dogs are living in shelters that are so much smaller. So, it’s nice they’ll be able to run around the apartment and actually have the outdoors,” said Leigh Wilkenson, a Williamsburg resident and Foster Dogs Inc. volunteer.

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Cats were campaigning, too. “Rocky” was dropped from a 15th floor balcony and owner Dawn Firestone hopes sharing her experience will make others more willing to adopt special needs cats.

“He can’t walk, so he just drags his butt. We call that ‘scooting,'” said Firestone, of Edison, New Jersey. “I had never heard of a special needs cat before. Special needs dogs, yes, but never cats.”

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Believe it or not, some of the people at PetCon came only to meet their favorite dog or cat. One line was waiting to meet a dog named “Crusoe,” one of the most famous on social media, CBS2’s Fouraker reported.

“I started a little blog seven years ago and it’s kind of  just grown over time. We have a bunch of viral videos. He has his second book out right now,” said Ryan Beauchesne of Ottawa.

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Animal influencers are one of the main attractions at PetCon. Owners like Mark and Marlinda Reynolds showed off what they’ve shared with thousands on their profiles, “Ripley,” from the YouTube channel “Ripley’s Puzzles,” has solved everything the couple can throw at her.

“I adopted her and within a week she knew every trick that I knew how to teach a dog. So I basically went online to try and find other ways to keep her occupied,” Mark Reynolds said.

PetCon lets pet lovers get their fill with no shortage of paws or purrs earning every pet with their costumes and tricks on display.

Pet lovers also got the chance to shop for innovative pet products, and meet with a pet manager, who helped explain the business of social media.