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Store hosts responsible owner event

Festivities in Saugus include free dog training classes, grooming demonstration

Posted: September 21, 2012 2:00 a.m.
Updated: September 21, 2012 2:00 a.m.

Pet owners may love their four-legged friends, but many don’t know exactly what’s involved in taking care of them properly.

That’s why Petco in Saugus is hosting its first responsible pet ownership event today from noon to 3 p.m.

Local pet-related businesses and nonprofits such as Natural Balance, New Leash On Life, Guide Dogs of America, Happy Strays Cat Rescue, AngelDogs Foundation and the Bunny Nanny will attend to offer information on everything from adoption to spay/neuter and nutrition.

“We’ve done responsible dog owner days in the past, but we wanted to make this one really big and include cats, bunnies and reptiles. Health, grooming, proper maintenance, all of that will be covered,” said Petco’s lead dog trainer, Tanya Terzian, who coordinated the event. “With the amount of animals that end up in shelters, it seems that people don’t understand that taking five minutes a day training or working with them will increase the pet and owner bond.”

The Grilled Cheese Truck of Los Angeles will serve patrons from the parking lot and donate 10 percent of sales to local animal welfare organizations.

“It’s a really popular food truck, so we’re hoping they’ll bring in lots of people through their tweets on Twitter,” Terzian said.

Free dog training classes will be held throughout the event, including one on child and pet safety.

“It’s important for children, as well as adults, to learn how to properly take care of pets and what responsibility is involved,” she said.

Grooming demonstrations will also be featured.

“Grooming is just hygiene. It’s important for people to brush their teeth and hair, to stay clean. It’s the same with dogs. Sometimes an ear that isn’t clean can turn into an infection, then a large vet bill,” she said.

Amy Ortiz, the Natural Balance account supervisor for Los Angeles and Ventura County, is excited to showcase their all-natural pet foods to the public.

“Natural Balance has a large selection of limited-ingredient diets for those pets with allergies and sensitivities,” she said. “We all know you are what you eat and it’s no different for our pets. As pet owners, we need to be advocates and give them the best possible nutrition so they can live long, happy lives.”

The Santa Clarita Valley-based AngelDogs Foundation, a nonprofit mobile spay/neuter clinic with locations in Saugus several times a month, is looking forward to educating pet owners about the many benefits of spay/neuter, which extend beyond birth control.

“Fixing your pets will result in a well-adjusted pet that isn’t driven by hormonal behaviors such as leash aggression, marking territory or the drive to mate. Some pets will escape their homes to search for a mate, and end up as sad shelter statistics, or hit by cars,” said Lisa Tipton, AngelDogs Foundation director. “There are health benefits, too, such as no worry of pyometra, which is an infection of the uterus, and can be fatal. Intact male dogs and cats can also develop testicular cancer.”

Ultimately, the goal is to keep pets in homes, according to Terzian.

“Everything we’ll be doing plays a part in responsible pet ownership. Hopefully, with this information, the number of animals surrendered to shelters will be reduced,” she said.

Responsible pet ownership event, today, noon to 3 p.m., Petco, 26501 Bouquet Canyon Road, Saugus. For more information, call 661-297-6936.


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