Pet and Reptile expo returns to Bakersfield

Jocelyn Sandusky, Features Editor

The Kern County Fair and Event Center hosted a reptile and pet expo on Feb. 15 and 16 at the Kern County Fairgrounds. Attendees enjoyed educational shows and booths, they also had the option to purchase pets and supplies from a plethora of breeders and vendors.

People of all ages packed the event center on its first day. Though the event focused on showcasing vendors, breeders and their goods, many of those who attended the event weren’t looking to purchase anything. Many used it as an opportunity for a nice family outing to observe, either up-close or from afar.

Monica Delgado brought her two young children to the event after learning about it from an ad on Facebook. Though she and her children were afraid of some reptiles, they still enjoyed looking at them from a comfortable distance.

Those who came to the event looking for supplies for their pets found a variety of food, toys, treats and habitats for a variety of species. Several vendors and breeders also allowed attendees to sample or try out products and hold animals outside of their enclosures.

Marley’s Mutts, an animal rescue group, had a booth set up so that about a dozen adoptable dogs could find their new homes. According to Marley’s Mutts volunteer Bernadette Ferguson, all adoption fees would cover the cost of spay or neuter surgery, microchip and vaccinations.

While the expo might not look any different from a classic pet store, it featured unique and uncommon animals. Fresno State student Ariel Leo drove from Fresno to Bakersfield for a second time to see the variety of species and breeds that are often harder to find and come across, all in one place.

“It’s nice to be here to see different kinds [of snakes] that you can never see in real life,” he said.

Jocelyn Sandusky
 Many rare and unique breeds of different species were available for sale and ranged in price.

The customer service offered by the vendors and breeders at the expo is also unmatched. Cindy Leverett, a gecko breeder, encourages her customers to call or text her if they need anything after their purchase.

Although her experience with this expo is often hit and miss, this year’s event was one of the better times she’s had here. Although it’s smaller than most of the large expos, the lineup and turnout were impressive.