Courtesy of America’s Family Pet Expo
Courtesy of America’s Family Pet Expo

The relationship between animals and humans is unexplainable. But, Doug Poindexter, president of the World Pet Association, has a good example of the impact an animal can have on a human being.

Poindexter said he remembers a time when an elderly couple met a bird. The wife held the bird in her hand and began talking to it. Her words moved her husband to tears, Poindexter said.

“A volunteer looked at the husband and asked if he was OK,” Poindexter said. “He said she hadn’t spoken in five years. That’s what animals can do for people. It’s amazing.”

Poindexter is behind the organization that hosts the annual America’s Family Pet Expo in Orange County. The expo returns for its 27th year from April 22 to April 24.

Nearly 60 agencies will be represented at the Pet Expo with their cats, dogs miniature farm animals, birds and exotic reptiles with the goal of finding homes for as many as possible. Last year, more than 600 animals were adopted into “forever homes” from the Pet Expo, officials said.

Poindexter, who has worked in the pet industry for more than 40 years, said the Pet Expo was created with the goal of educating the public about pets.

“Whether they have one already or are considering getting a pet, we want to ensure they have as much information as possible,” Poindexter said. “You really get to learn about the animals and enjoy the special relationship you can have with an animal.”

New to the event this year is a farm filled with miniature breeds of goats, cattle, sheep and donkeys. Other popular events such as the bird show and the dog agility competition will return.

Last year, 45,000 people visited the Pet Expo.

Admission prices range from $8 to $13. Children under 5 are free.

For more information about America’s Family Pet Expo, go to www.PetExpoOC.org.

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