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Ninth annual pet expo approved by wags

A puppy eagerly waits with a toy for a forever home.
Photo: Taelar Pollmann · The Sentry

The ninth annual Denver Pet Expo welcomed those with two to four legs to partake in the pet-centric vendors spread out across the National Western Complex.  There was a booth for everyone, from custom leashes and collars, to mobile photo booths and even a large fenced off area in which dogs could chase around a motorized toy.  This was by far the most exciting and populated area of the expo, as many dogs would pull their humans towards the running area like a child would pull a parent towards toys.

A food vendor was placed across from the running area, allowing the dogs to grab a snack after their run.  The cannabidiol (CBD) industry had a large presence amongst the vendors and sponsors of the event. There were samples of topical creams or tinctures that can be added to food to help relieve aches and pains.  CBD is a great alternative for pets who need pain relief, but it should not be confused with tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), which can be lethal to animals if ingested.

There were several services being offered to pet owners, like free nail trimming, vaccinations, and microchipping.  There were also various rescues with adoptable dogs in attendance.  One of them was Taysia Blue Rescue.

According to their website: “Taysia Blue Rescue is a 501c3 nonprofit organization. We are a family of volunteers and advocates dedicated to helping local Siberian Huskies, Alaskan Malamutes and their guardians. We are funded solely and supported by, the generosity of individuals and corporations in our communities. All of our dogs are located in approved foster homes in the metro areas of Omaha, Lincoln, Kansas City, Des Moines, and Denver.”

These breeds are often surrendered to shelters after their owners become overwhelmed by their level of energy.  The pack they had on site included Tre, a three-legged Husky whose information card started with “I am a Tripod.”  This feature did slow him a bit, but he still isn’t the type of dog someone who doesn’t enjoy walking should adopt.

For those who wanted a breed with less intensity, the Douglas County Canine Rescue had a plethora of dogs ranging in sizes and breeds who needed a forever home.  There was even a selection of puppies that were up for adoption.  The absence of breeders selling animals for profit was noticeable, and with so many animals in shelters who need a forever home, the expo made their stance on where to adopt a pet from very clear.

A repeated sight throughout the show was the image of a one-eyed Chihuahua named Harley that was printed on reusable totes.  Harley’s Dream, the vendor behind the bags, hopes to end the practice of puppy mills.  Harley, who passed away in 2016, was a puppy mill survivor.  For five years he helped raise awareness about puppy mills and the horrible reality these dogs suffer.  The message on the side of the bag encapsulated the core message of the expo: adopt, don’t shop.

Visit Taysia Blue Rescue at and Douglas County Canine Rescue at for adoptions

See Photobooth for more photos

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