There's a garden in the middle of New York City that has major animal magnetism: Madison Square Garden. Every February, the Garden plays host to the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. March is for cat lovers that's when the Garden features the annual International Cat Show.
But planners and sponsors of a brand-new event are hoping that October will be known as the time to celebrate all species of pet, whether it barks, purrs or flies.
The New York Pet Show debuts at the Garden later this month. The event, organized by celebrity dog trainer-author Bash Dibra, in conjunction with the animal-welfare group NYSAVE (New Yorkers Saving Animals in Veterinary Emergency) and the Veterinary Medical Association of New York City, will feature dogs, cats and birds courtesy of an exotic-bird show put on by the Long Island Parrot Society.
"This event is dedicated to promoting responsible pet ownership, proper nutrition, better training and greater health and well-being of all pets," Dibra explains.
That includes animals without a home; on hand will be eligible adoptables of the canine and feline persuasion.
"We also want to honor the search-and-rescue dog teams who participated so heroically in the World Trade Center rescue effort," Dibra adds.
Seminars and demonstrations will help educate animal lovers on a variety of subjects, including how to get your cat to warm up to his carrier for car trips and vet visits, and emergency disaster relief for pets.
It's a serious undertaking but that doesn't mean there won't be serious fun for participants of all ages.
On hand will be the dog-clown act Johnny Peers and the Muttville Comix and a petting zoo, plus actress Bernadette Peters supporting her pet cause, Broadway Barks, which promotes adopting animals from New York City shelters.
And don't miss the pet-owner look-alike contests or the four-legged version of "Star Search," in which Dibra who's brought to heel the pooches of Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker, and Henry Kissinger will be joined in the judges' circle by daytime TV actress Eileen Fulton of "As the World Turns" to rate pets' chances of making it in films and TV commercials.