Florida’s Largest Home Show and The New Barker dog magazine have teamed up to bring something warm and fuzzy to the Florida State Fairgrounds this Friday, Saturday and Sunday (October 18, 19 and 20). The Fall Fling Adopt-A-Pet will provide a free venue for Florida rescue groups to showcase their adoptables, hand out information and even collect donations for their cause: saving dogs from euthanasia.
For 29 years Turner Expo has produced Florida’s Largest Home Show in the Tampa Bay Area. With more than 900 exhibits, the shows have been selected as one of the top 30 premiere home shows in the country and featured in the National Home & Garden Show Series. The success of the shows inspired Turner Expositions co-owner Paige Kolm, to give back to her community, which has been so supportive of the Home Shows. The avid dog lover is concerned about the high rate of euthanasia and the number of homeless dogs. It is a fact that an astounding 9,000 dogs and cats are killed every day in shelters across the country. “I just wanted to stop being an observer and become a doer. We, as a community, have to help change this situation, and we cannot rely on one entity to shoulder the entire burden,” said Paige.
Of particular benefit to the rescue groups’ adoption efforts is that visitors coming to The Home Show are prepared to shop for the home. In other words, people come with the mindset to spend money. “It’s an entirely different demographic and vibe for the shelters and rescue groups participating,” said Anna Cooke, editor of The New Barker dog magazine. While browsing aisle after aisle of appliances, the latest in home entertainment technology, bedroom decor and comfort options, landscaping, high tech cookware and more, the visitor is pleasantly surprised by the appearance of puppies and dogs. “It’s a nice break for the shopper to interact with the dogs. And, it gives the volunteers fostering the adoptables an opportunity to reach out to a new group of people,” added Cooke. “Maybe some dogs will be adopted. Maybe some shoppers will be inclined to make a donation. In either case, we’re informing more people, outside of the world of rescue, about the work these volunteers are doing.”
The Spring Show in March, 2013 was the first time Florida’s Largest Home Show invited the rescue groups. Animal Based Charities helped coordinate the rescue groups. “We had more than 25 groups participate over the three-day event,” said Kolm. “We were so pleased with the response from our guests, that we decided to do it again for our Fall Home Show.”
In conjunction with the Fall Fling Adopt-A-Pet, on Saturday, Bay Area Kennel Clubs are participating in an AKC Responsible Dog Ownership Day. There will be Canine Good Citizen evaluations, demonstrations in Freestyle, Agility and Rally/Obedience. One-on-one sessions with a trainer, a Meet the Breed Parade and more. At The New Barker booth, homeowners will be able to speak with experts about liability insurance for their dogs, a different kind of home security and personal protection option, hospice care/end-of-life planning for the family pet and more. IN DOG WE TRUST will be selling their official NFL sanctioned line of dog bandanas.
Show hours are Friday, October 18, 11a-6p; Saturday, October 19, 11a-7p; Sunday, October 20, 11a-5p. The event is free on Friday during the ABC Action News FREE Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, adult tickets are $8; senior tickets are $7; children under 12 get in free. The Florida State Fairgrounds is located at 4800 US Highway 301 North, Tampa. Attendees will want to use the 301 entrance gate.