Manitoba Pet Expo brings together pet lovers of all kinds - Winnipeg | Globalnews.ca

Pet lovers of all kinds gathered in St. Norbert on Sunday to celebrate all things pet-related at this year's Manitoba Pet Expo, which featured 80 booths and many local businesses offering one-of-a-kind apparel, training expertise, specialty foods, grooming and more.

Manitoba Pet Expo organizer Jessica Klym said many of the shelters that showed up Sunday were struggling to care for the pets in their care.

“During the pandemic, people haven’t had as many opportunities to take their pets out for socialization and training,” Clem explained. “I would say some rescues are seeing ‘COVID’ puppies and ‘COVID’ dogs.”

Many people got pets during the pandemic, but now that the pandemic is over, many shelters have seen a significant increase in rescues.

Jacquie Coleman, a volunteer with Great Pyrenees Mountain Dog Rescue of Manitoba, said rescue levels are too high because owners don't know how to properly care for their pets.

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“A lot of animals can’t be sterilized, which leads to a surge in population,” Coleman said. “We’re definitely seeing a large number of animals coming in that need care.”

One of the many pets available for adoption at the Manitoba Pet Expo.

Kathryn Donian/Global News

Events like the Manitoba Pet Expo are crucial in raising awareness of the challenges facing rescues of all types of animals across the province. Corinne Nykorak, who helps run the Blackbird Ranch Horse Rescue and Rehabilitation Centre, said without the public's generous support, rescues would be in real trouble.

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“When we adopt out horses, we do receive funding,” Nicolak explained. “But we never get reimbursed for the cost of the animal. Because when we adopt out horses, we are required to get them checked out by a veterinarian.”

This year's Manitoba Pet Expo featured more than 80 booths.

Kathryn Donian/Global News

This year’s event expanded to a second building and was hosted by Boston Terrier and Pug Rescue of Southern Manitoba.

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Proceeds raised by the organizations during the event will go toward supporting medical care for the animals in their care.

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