GFA Pet Expo offers $100 off adoptions, low-cost microchipping

By: Andy Kozlowski | Madison - Park News | Published October 11, 2019


MADISON HEIGHTS — Over the years, more than 35,000 animals have been saved by Guardians for Animals and its affiliates. And each fall, the GFA Pet Expo and Adoption Event tries to find homes for as many as possible.

This year’s event will be held from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, and from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sunday, Oct. 20, at Madison Place, 876 Horace Brown Drive in Madison Heights. There is no cost to attend. However, donations of sealed cans or bags of pet food are appreciated.

The event will feature local animal rescues with dogs, puppies, cats, kittens and birds available for adoption. Last year’s event found homes for 76 rescue animals. Attendees can also bring their leashed pets with them, but all pets attending the expo must be short-leashed or muzzled, have proof of vaccinations or their current city dog license, and sign a waiver to enter.

The goal this year is to find a “forever home” for every rescue animal at the show. Those who adopt will receive $100 off their adoption fee, compliments of HALLWOOD Great Clips (limit of one adoption offer per family). There are also $10 microchips available to keep pets safe. Microchips are free for the pets of military members and first responders. Microchips quickly identify lost pets at shelters.

There will also be special events, including a Most Adorable Pet Contest at 2:30 p.m. each day where the winning dog or cat has the chance to be in movies, TV or modeling; a Pet Halloween Costume Contest on both days; family and pet photography; photos with exotic birds; free massages (Oct. 19 only); shopping with vendors; balloon artists and magicians; fudge tasting; food and drinks; a silent auction; raffles; a 50/50 cash drawing; and more.

All proceeds will support the emergency medical fund for GFA and its 16 affiliates, all of which are no-kill rescues or shelters that focus on saving death row animals.

“GFA is celebrating 15 years of service to our amazing rescue affiliates … who with very limited resources take the ill, aging and maimed animals that otherwise would not have been adopted out by the shelters,” said Alex Whitney, the founder of GFA. “With limited funds, it becomes even more challenging as costs escalate. That’s why this event is so very important. It helps people to better understand why rescues are lifesaving to the homeless animals.”

Brenda Estes, of Best Buddy Pet Rescue, based in Lake Orion, described the challenges.

“The prices keep going up, and rescues need to find the means to cover those costs. It’s also hard not to pull every dog and cat that needs help,” Estes said. “Fosters are always needed so that more animals can be saved. GFA has been a real blessing to us, helping whenever they can.”

Jayne Labuda Szymanski, the founder of Michigan Animal Crew, based in Shelby Township, said last year’s event was a resounding success.

“We had every dog in our rescue adopted last year,” Szymanski said. “That opened up so many fosters. With winter coming, that got dogs off the streets.”

Whitney encouraged people to open their hearts to the animals in need.

“This is about love and compassion,” she said. “Together, we can make miracles happen.”

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