What’s happening at The Great Iowa Pet Expo



Dates and Hours


Saturday, October 19 – 10am – 6pm
Sunday, October 20 – 10am – 4 pm



Lusco Farms Donkey Rescue to The Great Iowa Pet Expo! 

NESTER, the donkey who started a movement in Malvern.

Look who’s returning for 2019!! 

It all started with one forlorn little donkey!!

Lura and Scott Shehan “founders”, were just going to look at some horse tack. Things got sidetracked when Lura suggested they tour the animal sale barn. That’s when they spotted him. “He was skinny, scared and the kids were laughing at him,” recalls Scott. “That’s what got to Lura. She said ‘We are taking him home.’” And they did.

The little fellow they called Nestor (after the hero of a popular children’s book) was just the first. The Shehans began their rescue work in 2009, and became a non-profit in 2011. Today, with 150 donkeys and mules rescued, Lusco Farms Rescue in Malvern, Iowa, continues to work diligently to find forever homes for abandoned, neglected or abused equines.

“They are kind of like big dogs,” explains Lura. “They are very inquisitive and they want to be around human beings. They want attention and affection from their humans.” Just as with dogs and cats; overbreeding is the root cause of too many donkeys. That coupled with a tough economy several years ago, many sale barns were filled with unwanted horses, mules and donkeys.

The Shehans go through a thorough adoption process to make sure their charges end up in greener pastures. Potential adopters have to fill out a form; provide veterinary/farrier references, and provide adequate pasture and shelter for the animals. They also have to ensure that the donkey or mule has a “buddy.” They either need another equine on site, or they have to adopt two donkeys. As herd animals, donkeys need companionship just as much as they need food, water and shelter.

The Shehans (and a small core of committed volunteers) work hard to make sure the donkeys and mules are well tended. As co-founders of the Southwest Iowa Animal Coalition, the Shehans, work with other area rescues on events, such as feral cat spay and neuter programs. They’ve found there is strength in numbers, and the rescue groups work together to promote awareness and adoptions.

The work is hard. The donkeys must be handled regularly to learn to accept having their feet handled (regular hoof trimming is a must); pens must be cleaned; hay and water provided. Lura is up at 4:30 a.m. to do chores and then off to work her full time job; after a full day at work, Lura and Scott head home to care for the dozen plus donkeys currently at the rescue.

That number is ever-changing. Lura said they have a waiting list for people who want Lusco Farms to take donkeys. In a recent situation, they took back three donkeys from an adopter whose deteriorating health necessitated giving up her beloved pets.

And as for Nestor? He was eventually adopted out to a loving family. Scott remembers Lura’s fateful words the night they spotted the long-eared donkey. “She said, ‘His life gets better today.’” And it did. They still live that motto today. “Their life’s get better starting today“!

Story Courtesy of PAH/Pet Health Central

Lusco Farms Website
Lusco Farms Facebook Page

Paint Your Pet!


Paint Your Pet at the Great Iowa Pet Expo 2019 – Oct. 19 & 20! Event times are 1pm-4pm on Saturday, October 20th and 12:30pm -3:30pm on Sunday, October 21st!

Register at www.elarteuncorked.com. Please email a photo of your pet to info@elarteuncorked.com by October 14th to have the image pre-sketched on the canvas.

Cost is $40 per painter – Groupon deal not available for this event. $20 from every ticket goes directly to benefit local animal shelters Hope Animal Rescue of Iowa, AHeinz57 Pet Rescue and Transport, Furry Friends Rescue and Animal Lifeline of Iowa!

Official Elk Antler of The Great Iowa Pet Expo

Mohlman Elk Farm

At a time when understanding the source of your pet’s food and treats is of the most importance, we are offering our attendees antlers that are raised and harvested in Nebraska with no middleman. Eric and Kim Mohlman breed their own stock and have for 26 years. Their farm is known as Mohlman Elk Farm (MEF). They offer the highest quality product we’ve seen and our expo attendees rave about them. And there is truly no question they can’t answer about the production process, the benefits, or what type of antler might match your dog’s chewing habits.
The elk antler MEF uses for their dog chews is grown on their bulls every summer and takes about 110 days from the time it starts growing to when it turns hard and is ready to be used for chews. None of their elk are harmed in any way as the elk antlers fall off naturally and they grow another new set the following summer. The ultimate renewable resource! No drugs or chemicals are used in the production or cleaning on the elk antler. It is 100% natural elk antler.
Check our Mohlman Elk Farm for yourself on Facebook to see some of the elk that are producing these great antlers!

The Stylin’ Paws “Ultimate Stay” Contest

Can your dog “Stay’? Really, really “Stay”? If so, you might have the 2019 winner of The Stylin’ Paws Ultimate Stay Contest. It’s a test of will and obedience and as we have the handlers put their dogs in a “Stay” command, then we start adding distractions. Rolling tennis balls, treats, noises, and all the while moving the handlers farther from the dogs. Someone will take the $100 cash prize AND a gift basket from Stylin’ Paws for first place in the Stylin’ Paws “Ultimate Stay” Contest! The second and third place winners will also be provided with a Stylin’ Paws gift bag. In honor of the Pet Expo’s 20th Anniversary this year, the first 20 participants to sign up on site will receive a 50% off Self Wash Coupon to Stylin’ Paws new location on Ingersoll Ave.

Stylin’ Paws is a perfect partner for this contest because they offer your pet the “Ultimate Stay” when at the Stylin’ Paws Salon and Day Stay! 

It’s not just a full-service pet salon, but it’s also a dog daycare facility that’s dedicated to consistently providing high customer satisfaction with excellent service, quality pet care, and a fun, clean, enjoyable atmosphere. 

Stylin’ Paws has also recently expanded into the retail world. Their retail area focuses on health-conscious pet parents and those who seek out unique high-quality products not found in large retail stores. Their product assortment includes a selection of stylish dog collars, luxurious dog beds, the highest quality all-natural food and treats, cool and funny dog toys, ‘mutts’ more.

Stylin’ Paws understand that the grooming experience is made up if three key components:

  • The Stylist
  • The Pet 
  • The Pet Owner

Each of these components must be respected and appreciated by the facility owners and management for a positive experience to take place. These factors are important parts of the overall experience and Stylin’ Paws truly believes to have found a “better way” to positively impact all involved. Let your pet receive the Ultimate Stay and see for yourself the Stylin’ Paws difference

Plucky Paws Trainer in Training Contest

Calling all kiddos!  Get ready for the first-ever Trainer in Training contest at the Great Iowa Pet Expo, sponsored by Stephanie Peters of Plucky Paws, LLC!  Kids will briefly introduce themselves and their dog, take 90 seconds to show off their training skills, and engage in 90 seconds of Q&A with Stephanie.  Handlers may demonstrate any skill they wish, including basic manners, cooperative care, tricks, or dog sports.


1) Youth ages 8-17 may participate with any friendly dog they personally know.

2) Participants must train and demonstrate behaviors using force-free methods and equipment, including lure-reward or clicker training.  Participants may not train or demonstrate behaviors using punishing methods or equipment, including choke, prong, and shock collars.

3) Participants’ knowledge of training methods and equipment, understanding of canine body language, and compassion for their furry partner are weighted more heavily than training outcomes.


All participants receive a Pet Expo ribbon, a Plucky Paws training clicker, and a dog treat from Treats on a Leash!

The Grand Prize Winner Receives:

-Junior Membership to the Pet Professional Guild Force-Free Training Organization

-Copy of Inside of a Dog Young Readers Edition

Clik Stik, Treat Pouch, & Training Treats

-$25.00 Gift Card to ARL’s Animal House Store


Mutter Chaos Flyball Team        

Flyball Demos

Come join us at The Great Iowa Pet Expo and check out the Flyball Demos! 

How it works:
Flyball is a dog team sport. There are four dogs that compete at one time. The first dog runs down the lane over 4 different jumps, then hits a box that triggers a ball. The dog then catches the ball and returs to their handler over the jumps. Then, the next dog goes, and this is repeated until all four dogs are finished. 

Trick Training

Trick training is a break away from the ordinary and a way to relax and have fun with your dog again.  Tricks are challenging both mentally and physically.  Just like people, most dogs love learning new things and it helps keep them young.  Canine Craze will be offering Trick Training sessions where you can join with or without your dog.  Allowing the dog choices and having fun are two keys to success when training!  We will break these tricks down into small manageable chunks helping you and your dog be successful.

Trick Training sessions:

Canine Fitness

We know that fitness for people is important, we talk about it all the time but did you know it is just as important for our dogs to stay fit?  It can improve the quality of life for the pet dog and lessen the chances of injury with the performance dog.  There are 5 key elements for Canine Total Health; Flexibility, Cardio, Strength, Mental, and Balance.  Canine Fitness can assist in all of these areas and is a great way to continue training and enrichment with your dog. Check our schedule for each session time on Canine Fitness. 

Neuter-A-Tom and Microchip Clinic by APE

Neuter-A-Tom Clinic presented by Animal Protection & Education (Des Moines)
The Great Iowa Pet Expo will host the Animal Protection and Education Charity’s, Neuter-A-Tom Clinic on October 19, 2019 at the Iowa State Fairground’s Jacobson Building

Microchip clinic will be BOTH DAYS!

Please help prevent unwanted litters of kittens by having your male cats and kittens neutered. To qualify kittens must be at least 8 weeks old and weigh at least two pounds. The Neuter-A-Tom clinic will be on SATURDAY ONLY! Pricing is $30 with a $5 discount if liked and shared on Facebook during the first month of advertising.

Vaccination Clinic – SUNDAY ONLY – includes rabies, distemper, mini wellness exam, and free microchip ($45 for dogs, $35 for cats)

Microchip Clinic both days – only $25!

For more information please call 515-460-SPAY

Full Color Pastel Caricature Drawings! 

Sudden art will be doing Full Color Pastel Caricature drawings of your pet on site at the Great Iowa Pet Expo this year! Each drawing will take about 10-15 minutes and they will have two artists creating them! Cost is $10/drawing. 


Canine Good Citizen Testing (CGC)

by Canine Craze Training Center

The Canine Good Citizen Program stresses responsible ownership and the importance of a well-mannered dog. The Canine Good Citizen Test has ten parts. Each part of test consists of regular, everyday occurrences. A normal, well-behaved dog should have no difficulty passing.
1: Allowing a friendly stranger to approach.
2: Sitting calmly and politely to be pet.
3: Allowing handling for grooming and physical examination.
4: Heeling politely on a loose lead.
5: Walking calmly through crowded areas.
6: Sit on command, and down on command.
7: Coming when called.
8: Greeting another well-behaved dog without aggression or excitement.
9: Handling distractions and distracting environments.
10: Behaving well when in the care of another and the owner or trusted handler is out of sight.


Traveling to The Great Iowa Pet Expo?

Check out our lodging deals here:


Econo Lodge 

(right across the street from the fairgrounds!)

410 E 30th St 
Des Moines, IA 50317
Receive a 15 % discounted rate by booking through this link: 
You may call and give them the Block Name: Great Iowa Pet Expo