Downtown Pella went to the dogs Thursday night on “Paws and Claws” night at “Thursdays in Pella”. The event featured several activities and exhibitions focused on pets and their owners, including several exotic pets on display by the Pella Wildlife Company. Ron DeArmond with the Pella Wildlife Company says the wildly popular exhibit featured an educational opportunity as well.
“Basically, we want to make sure that people understand that wildlife does not make a good pet,” said DeArmond. “However, all pets originated from a wild species, and so the animals we had tonight are basically considered ‘exotic’ animals, but they’ve been domesticated and are considered in the pet industry.”
A chinchilla from South America, Hedgehog from Africa and a Sugar Glider from Austrailia were among the exotic pets that DeArmond had on display.
The evening also included an appearance from Clifford the Big Red Dog, pony rides and a petting zoo, but was mostly an opportunity for dog owners to enjoy an evening in the park with their beloved pets. Dr. Brett Clayberg with Pella Pets Veterinary Clinic said seeing the dogs and their owners out together was his favorite part of the evening.
“I just delight in watching people being goo-goo about their little pet. They bring their little dog down here, amidst this population, and it’s amazing we don’t have any troubles – to speak of,” said Dr. Clayberg. “There’s just a lot of happy people walking around, and it was just a good slice of American life tonight.”
Tri-County Veterinary Clinic also hosted a dog beauty contest and provided balloons for children during “Paws and Claws” night, which was sponsored by MidWestOne Bank and concluded by a performance from the Pella City Band.