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Local

Chicago Pet Show offers barks - but no bite - in St. Charles

Chase Schnitzler, 7, gives a smooch to Shrek, a 3-year-old bulldog, as Donna Smolich, left, and Laura Wesseln of Adopt a Bull English Bulldog Rescue watch. The organization was offering "Smooch a Pooch" for $1 at the Chicago Pet Show in St. Charles.
Chase Schnitzler, 7, gives a smooch to Shrek, a 3-year-old bulldog, as Donna Smolich, left, and Laura Wesseln of Adopt a Bull English Bulldog Rescue watch. The organization was offering "Smooch a Pooch" for $1 at the Chicago Pet Show in St. Charles.

ST. CHARLES – Seven-year-old Chase Schnitzler couldn't resist a kiss.

For $1, he and other Chicago Pet Show attendees on Sunday could smooch a pooch curtesy of the Adopt a Bull English Bulldog Rescue.

Baby, 7, awaited kisses in a Green Bay Packers shirt while Shrek, 3, awaited smooches in Chicago Bears apparel.

Chase showed some love to Shrek. Afterward, the Cortland boy had one word for the kiss.

"Wet," he said.

With rescue organizations promoting adoptions to live demonstrations, visitors to the Chicago Pet Show had many opportunities to interact with and see animals at the Kane County Fairgrounds over the weekend.

Johnny Sullivan, 14, even let a sun conure walk up his arm and around his shoulders, behind his neck. The St. Charles teen said he wished he could adopt the bird from the Greater Chicago Cage Bird Club, but he had allergies.

Club President Alice Blayney said some birds were adopted during the event, which saw "tremendous" crowds Saturday.

"This is a great opportunity to get our shelter out," she said, noting it is in Villa Park.

Although the club has existed for more than 80 years, this is the first year it has had a building for the shelter, Blayney said.

About 80 birds need homes, board member Janice Davis said.

Blayney said the shelter often gets birds when their owners have died and when kids go to college and can't take the pets with them and their parents don't want to care for them.

Similarly, both Baby and Shrek were surrendered by their owners, Laura Wesseln of Adopt a Bull said, noting Shrek's owner was being deployed overseas.

"Both of them are great dogs," she said.

Participating in the Chicago Pet Show helps the group with its suburban outreach, she said. She noted it also gives the group a chance to educate people about bulldogs, which can be adopted from them and not bought from pet stores.

Adopt a Bull ensures the dogs are in optimal shape before adoption, Wesseln said, noting the organization invests in medical costs.

"We spend a lot of money on the dogs," she said.

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