VINTON–The Lancerlot Sports Complex in Vinton usually promotes health and wellness in people. However, on April 13, they plan to focus on the fitness of four-footed friends with their first Pet Health Fair.
The event, which includes a Rabies Clinic, will run from 2:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. in the outdoor pool deck area at the facility unless bad weather moves the activities indoors to the gym. This is a family event so children are welcome. Surprise guests like Scooby Doo and Snoopy may be dropping by.
Pets are allowed. They must be vaccinated (unless they are coming to get a rabies shot) and dogs must be on a leash. Cats need to be in a carrier.
Barbara Gee, general manager and aquatics director at Lancerlot, and Kathleen Sink, an instructor there, have organized the event, which is sponsored by Lancerlot and the Pfizer Pharmaceutical Company.
Gee, who lives in Mount Pleasant, is a certified vet tech previously employed full time at Brandon Animal Hospital, and still works there on occasion. She has been with the Lancerlot for over 22 years, starting out as a lifeguard.
Sink has been with the Lancerlot for over nine years; she is a part-time fitness instructor in the evenings in water aerobics, cycling, yoga, abs, strength and flexibility training, and body fusion. Sink recently helped to organize the program and sponsors for the Bench Press Competition held at the Lancerlot in March.
In coming up with the Pet Health Fair idea last fall Gee and Sink realized that most of the staff and many of the members at Lancerlot have beloved pets. Their aim is to switch the focus from the pet owners’ health to their pets’ health for the day, in addition to doing something good for the Vinton community.
The Fair is free except for those who need a rabies vaccination. Attendees who bring their dog or cat to the Fair for the Rabies Clinic will register upon entering and visit veterinarian Dr. Ann Marie Conner of Brandon Animal Hospital first.
Rabies vaccines cost $10 and are on a first come, first serve basis. One hundred doses have been ordered. Pet owners will receive certificates to enable them to get pet licenses. According to Gee, several cases of rabies have been reported recently in the area, three just in Mount Pleasant involving a skunk, a raccoon, and a fox, so vaccination is vital.
Local vets and vet technicians will be available throughout the afternoon to answer questions and to do demonstrations on a variety of pet topics.
Dr. Sarah Roschen, of Lake Forest Animal Hospital, in Forest, Virginia, will be doing a demonstration on pet acupuncture. Dr. Lisa Wilson from Brandon Animal Hospital in Roanoke will be talking about physical rehabilitation for pets.
Wayne Guffey, Assistant Chief of the Vinton First Aid Crew, will be demonstrating pet CPR and first aid and use of their recently acquired pet oxygen masks.
There will be door prizes and giveaways, including dog and cat survival kits with first aid supplies, and gift certificates for Holdren’s Country Store, massage therapy (for humans), Jerry’s Restaurant, and the New Yorker Restaurant, along with pet-themed mugs, pet treats, and a pet memorial stone. Various vendors and pet services providers plan to attend, including Oakey’s Pet Crematorium.
Dog trainer Jennifer Cooley will be talking about dog obedience. Andrea Bailey from Doggie Doos will be doing a grooming demo.
Representatives from Pfizer will discuss pain management and the increasing trend of pet obesity. Studies estimate that over 50 percent of cats and dogs in the United States are overweight or obese.
“For every extra ten pounds of weight a pet carries, five years are cut from their lives on average,” said Gee.
There will be a Cutest Dog and Cat Contest during the course of the afternoon.
The Pet Health Fair at the Lancerlot aims to be small enough in venue to allow pet owners to speak with the vets and vet techs individually to ask questions and get information; however this is not a treatment fair but an educational event.
On the day of the Pet Health Fair, the Lancerlot will also be sponsoring a Spaghetti Dinner to benefit the Vinton Relay for Life coming up in April. For $8, a take-out meal consisting of spaghetti, salad, bread and a dessert can be purchased at the Lancerlot. Kathleen Sink has information on the dinners at 540-293-2292.
The Pet Health Fair is open to the public, free of charge. Free parking is available at the Lancerlot, with overflow parking across the street behind Colonial Downs.
For more information call Barbara Gee at 540-981-0205 or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.