updated 5/3/2011 10:16:19 AM ET 2011-05-03T14:16:19

SAN DIEGO, May 3, 2011 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- For many people, the perfect addition to the family may not be a dog or a cat - allergies, time, space and care must always be kept in mind when choosing a pet. To help families make an educated and responsible decision about who the next addition should be, PETCO™ invites the public to their Meet the Critters event May 7-8 2011 from 1-2 pm. The free, family-friendly event will showcase five unique animals that are fun pet alternatives: chinchillas, red ear sliders, ball pythons, rats, and conures.

The Meet the Critters meet-and-greet will educate guests on each animal's behavior, diet, habitat and care. In addition, guests are invited to interact with the animals under the supervision of one of PETCO's trained specialists. Attendees will learn fun facts about each animal including:

Chinchilla: The chinchilla's fur is considered the softest in the world; 30 times softer than human hair with double the hairs per follicle. Even though they bathe in dust they do not have dander so they are a great addition to a family who might be allergic to other small animals.

Red Ear Sliders:  Although this companion resides in a glass habitat or pond, these turtles are very social creatures and even come to the glass to greet you.  These cold-blooded animals like to bask in the summer or burrow their heads and hibernate during winter months.  Recognized by the red markings on the side of their heads, they can live more than 25 years and grow to over 10 inches.  

Ball Python: The Ball Python, also known as the "royal python", gets its name because royalty used to wear them as jewelry.  Their beautiful colors and exceptional patterns, such as spider and pinstripe, make then a quite a beautiful addition to a home ready for a pet that could grow to be 4-5 feet long.

Rat:  The highly intelligent and loyal animals are one of the most under-rated small pets.  They come in a wide variety of types including hairless, dumbo (because of their large ears) and Siamese, which adds to their wide appeal for a family looking for a small animal pet.  

Conure: These birds make the perfect pet with their playful, affectionate and friendly personalities. They can also become long-time companions because some live for over 30 years. They thrive on human interaction and fun toys that will satiate their curiosity.

For your nearest PETCO location or for more information you can visit:  www.petco.com/critters

About PETCO

PETCO is a privately held specialty retailer that provides products, services and advice that make it easier for our customers to be great pet parents. We operate more than 1,000 stores in 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as a leading pet products and information destination at  http://www.petco.com. Our nonprofit organization, The PETCO Foundation, has raised more than $70 million since its inception in 1999 to help promote and improve the welfare of companion animals. In conjunction with the Foundation, we work with and support about 7,000 local animal welfare groups across the country to help find homes for more than 200,000 adoptable animals every year.

CONTACT:

Mia West

619.501.2756

mwest@west-pr.com  

This information was brought to you by Cision http://www.cisionwire.com
 

© Copyright 2012, GlobeNewswire, Inc. All Rights Reserved

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