The Canton Pet Expo focused on promoting the adoption of animals for pets.

CANTON The message Cathy Wills wants to share is there is more to a greyhound's life and worth than running in competitive races.

A volunteer with Greyhound Adoption of Ohio, Wills joined other animal lovers at the Canton Pet Expo Sunday to promote the notion of adoption of animals who might be unwanted or abandoned. And the fate of retired greyhounds is of prime concern for Wills and others with Greyhound Adoption of Ohio, which is based in the Cleveland area.

"To me, I don't want to see anything happen to them," Wills said. "We don't want them to be euthanized. Now they are adopting them out."

Held at the Cultural Center for the Arts, the Canton Pet Expo was sponsored by the Canton Repository. Various animal rescue groups and other organizations promoting proper pet care were on hand. The event included demonstrations by the Canton Police Department Canine Unit.

The event was held to promote "adoption, pet adoptions," explained Pam Bittaker, marketing and events coordinator of the Canton Repository. "There were several pet adoptions today. The rescue groups brought their own to try to adopt them out"

Wills' group, Greyhound Adoption oh Ohio, was selling T-shirts to raise funds for their organization and JJ's Ruff Roads, a local effort operated by Ramona Hartleben, which retrieves lost pets.

Another local group at the expo was Promway Kennels Boarding & Grooming of Jackson Township. The business provides temporary shelter for pet dogs and cats when their owners have to be away from home.

But, "we are getting our nonprofit status for rescue," said Christine Jackson, an employee of Promway Kennels. "In the past five years since they (owners Bill and Kim Novotny) have owned the kennel, they have found homes for over 60 dogs."

While not bringing any animals, John Wince of the Waynesburg area displayed samples of his craftsmanship - Ziffycat cat furniture. With slices of carpeting and wooden support posts, Wince produces stands with names like condo tower and cat perch which, in theory, are able to keep a housebound cat occupied.

"The posts are solid cedar," Wince said. "It definitely helps from the cat tearing up your furniture or destroying your household."

And there was the group led by Susan Johnson which was promoting health and wellness for pets. While discussing proper nutrition for dogs and cats, Johnson of Tuscarawas County also expressed misgivings about pet foods commonly sold in supermarkets and discount stores.

"If you want a cat or a dog to be really healthy, what would they eat in the wild?" Johnson said. "It would be meat, grasses and herbs. But when we bring them in our home, we feed them foods that are very high in carbohydrates; corn and soybeans. They end up getting diseases that we get."

Reach Malcolm at 330-580-8305

or malcolm.hall@cantonrep.com

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