LIVINGSTON, NJ – More than $500 was raised for local animal shelters and rescue groups and nine cats and dogs found forever homes at the third-annual Livingston Pet Adoption Expo held at The Shoppes at the Livingston Circle on June 17.

Hosted by The Shoppes at the Livingston Circle and Eastman Companies, the theme of this year’s event was “Adopt a Forever Friend. Lending support to the family-friendly community event were Healthy Community Healthy Youth Initiative (HCHY) of Livingston, the Livingston Police Department, UNICO Livingston Chapter and volunteers from Livingston High School, Jersey Cares and Striker Realty.

Friends of the Livingston Animal Shelter is one of the local groups that will benefit from the $550 that was raised. Other participating shelters and rescue groups included Purrfect Pals Rescue, Newark’s Associated Humane Society, Mt. Pleasant Animal Shelter, Seeing Eye Puppy Club of Essex County, Bear Education & Rescue, Cause for Paws, People for Animals Cat Rescue, Second Chance Pet Adoption, Shelter Helpers on Wheels and ESP Pets.

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Those in attendance had the opportunity to have their pets sketched by caricature artist Neil McMillin of Neillustrations; visit the Pet Photo Booth; watch demonstrations by the Seeing Eye Puppy Club of Essex County and the Livingston Robotics Club; and enjoy food and beverages donated by Master Pizza, Anthony's Coal Fired Pizza and Regal Bank. Activities for kids included glitter tattoos applied by Alyssa Immitt and her children, Jacob and Morgan; and poster painting at the Livingston Arts Council booth.

Participating retailers at The Shoppes included Wine Legend, which held in-store summer wine tastings and Hand & Stone Massage and Facial Spa, which provided free mini-massages. The center’s two newest tenants, CycleBar and Goldfish Swim School, were among the Expo’s vendors.

Pictured left to right are: Verhaeren Ovalle, volunteer, Striker Realty; Jersey Cares volunteer; Paul Bini, volunteer, Friends of the Livingston Animal Shelter; Yinette Shecker, volunteer, Striker Realty; Delvin Burton, franchise owner, CycleBar Livingston; Michael Schofel, managing partner, Eastman Companies; Alan Karpas, HCHY/Friends of the Livingston Animal Shelter; Jessen Venord, volunteer, Jersey Cares; and Dr. Charlotte Jones-Burton, franchise owner, CycleBar Livingston.