The All American Columbus Pet Expo that was scheduled for March 14 and 15 has been canceled.

The following message was posted on the event's website:

CANCELED

With the Governor's announcement of placing an order on all mass gatherings, including cancelling OSU classes, NCAA spectators at events and numerous other events, it is in the best interest of our attendees, vendors, rescues and employees, to cancel the 25th All American Columbus Pet Expo.

At the end of the day, our number one priority is the safety of everyone that attends our event.

All tickets will be refunded and exhibitors have received communication from our staff. If you won a contest we will reach out to you individually from info@columbuspetexpo.com.

We understand any frustration with this cancellation, as we were on track to host one of our best expos in our 25 year history to provide an amazing experience for our attendees. This is a devastating day for the Columbus Pet Expo, but we hope to prevail at a different time to continue to remain one of the finest community events in Columbus, OH.

Thank you, Columbus.

All American Columbus Pet Expo Staff

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Previous story

All American Columbus Pet Expo celebrates 25 years of cat, dog fandom

Races featuring Dachshunds, chickens, bunnies, a coolest-cat contest and world-champion flying-disc dogs will be part of the 25th annual All American Columbus Pet Expo.

The event will be held from noon to 8 p.m. March 13, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. March 14 and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 15 at the Ohio Expo Center's Bricker Multi-Purpose Building and the Ohio Building, 717 E. 17th Ave. in Columbus.

The fourth annual All About Cats Expo, part of the pet expo housed at the Ohio Expo Center and the Ohio Building, will include a cat show, a Cats 101 area and the cat contest.

"We're pulling out all the stops for the 25th," said Steve Cantin, the show's founder.

He said inflatables have been custom-made for the anniversary celebration so visitors can take photos for social-media posts. The inflatables include two 26-foot-tall dogs with sunglasses; a 20-foot-tall red and yellow dog; a 12-foot-tall parrot, chicken and Easter bunny; and a 16-foot-tall cat.

Cantin said 200 to 300 Dachshunds will race as part of the activities, which also include demonstrations by Southern Ohio Flying K9s.

The dog group, which originated in Cincinnati, is based in Gahanna and Delaware.

Gahanna resident Wesley Ryan, president of the Southern Ohio Flying K9s, said club members would lead their dogs in several trick freestyle routines, a "how to get started in the sport" training session and a toss-and-catch competition among members.

"By joining the club or participating in our events, dog owners can bond with their dogs via positive training," Ryan said. "Our goal is to reinforce good behaviors and ignore the less desirable ones. By doing this, the dog wants to work and behave for the human, and quickly, a bond is formed."

Ryan will bring Paisley, a 4-year-old Australian shepherd that earned the Skyhoundz Youth World Champion title in 2017 and 2018 in Chattanooga, Tennessee. At that time, Ryan's son, Sidney Ryan, a Gahanna Lincoln High School student, was the dog's handler.

Club demonstrations will be in the main arena of the Bricker building at 1:30, 4 and 6:30 p.m. March 13; noon, 3 and 5 p.m. March 14; and 11 a.m. and 1 and 3 p.m. March 15.

Other areas in the Bricker building will include a designated "Dock Diving" area for the North America Diving Dogs.

Nearby will be a reptile exhibit, Bunny Hop races, a rabbit exhibit, crab racing and chicken races.

The "Running of the Wieners" area and "Lap Dog Races" also will be in the Bricker building.

No dogs will be allowed in the Cats 101 Fun Zone that will feature a cat agility course.

Diane Wingerter, the pet expo's manager, said local rescues/shelters and nonprofits scheduled to exhibit include Delaware's Heart of Ohio Ferret Association, Our Town Art Studios and Veteran Companion Animal Services; Dublin's Blue Ocean Faith Columbus; Grove City's Columbus Pet Rescue and Home for Feline; Groveport's Ohio Fuzzy Pawz Shih Tzu Rescue; Hilliard's Columbus Humane and Wagging Tales Rescue; Powell's Cozy Cat Cottage Adoption Center; and Westerville's Columbus Cocker Rescue and Guardians For the Animals of Ohio Rescue.

Cantin, creator of the Ohio sales event Extravaganza!, was asked by Roger Perry, who at the time was the owner of 30 PETAZZ Stores and a vendor in the Extravaganza, to partner with him and put on a show promoting responsible pet ownership.

Cantin said he agreed and suggested it be called the Columbus Pet Expo and incorporate a large pet adoption as a way to help pet-rescue groups raise funds, get the word out and provide a venue where people easily could visit with the pets available for adoption and fill out adoption applications.

Twenty-five years later, Cantin said, the Columbus Pet Expo has been renamed the All American Columbus Pet Expo to improve internet searches.

Cantin said pet owners would discover new items as they meet 140-plus exhibitors who will demonstrate products and services related to pets' safety and well-being.

He said "Think Adoption First" is the expo's message by featuring 20 local pet rescues and pet shelters that will have adoptable dogs and cats on site.

Pet Supplies Plus will provide free samples for the first 400 people who fill out adoption applications.

Admission is $10 for each adult attending one day of the All American Columbus Pet Expo, Mega Pet Adoption and All About Cats Expo. One-day tickets for seniors ages 60 and older and children ages 4 to 12 cost $6.

Three-day passes are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and $12 for children.

For more information, go to columbuspetexpo.com.

mkuhlman@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekMarla