Welcome to our new Pets section

If you’re reading this column, you’re probably one of those people who think there can never be TOO many animal stories in a newspaper. At the Post-Gazette, we’re hoping to  bring you more animal stories every day starting today, when we debut our new Pets section online.

The Pets section will be the Internet home of the Pet Tales column, written by me, and the Pet Points column written by Point Breeze veterinarian Lawrence Gerson.

Save this Web address and share it with your “real” friends and friends on social media: post-gazette.com/pets.

Along with the work of Post-Gazette writers and columnists, we‘ll gather the latest news and features from newspapers around the country and the world and from wire services such as the Associated Press. We‘re adding the pets-oriented  feature reports‍ of the Web news service Pets360 and additional health information and background articles provided by PetsMD. 

In the days ahead, we’ll be adding features that make it easy to share your favorite pictures of pets and animals as well as view video reports from the PG’s multimedia tea‍m.

Many of our articles already allow you to join the conversation by adding comments. We’ll continue  to be interested in your ideas and sugg‍estions for improvements as we roll ahead.

I get so many story and column tips and ideas from friends on my Linda Wilson Fuoco Facebook page and from emails sent to lfuoco@post-gazette.com. You can still do that, or you can send messages to the PG Pets Facebook page, which is on the Pets section on our website.

Or you can tell me today in person at the ...

Steel City Pet Expo

The Steel City Pet Expo will run from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. today at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center Downtown. I’ll be at the Post-Gazette booth from 10 to 11 a.m., and will be mixing and mingling throughout the event, meeting animals and the people who love them.

Dr.  Gerson will be there from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. He’ll answer questions on pet care and health at our booth, No. 315, which is near the stage and to the left of the main entrance.

Most everything’s free -- including admission, parking and toenail trims for pets -- at the expo. There are many vendor booths, training and agility demonstrations, and many adoptable pets that are looking for homes. Those pets are not free. Adoption fees offset -- but do not totally cover -- the high costs of running shelters or rescue organizations.

And, well-behaved pets on leashes are invited.

Special service dog

Special things happen when retired Army Capt. Luis Carlos Montalvan gives public speeches. The best thing is you get to meet and pet his service dog, a golden retriever named Tuesday. Service dogs usually come with a strict “hands off” policy, but Mr. Montalvan always lets Tuesday visit with the people who come to see them.

They‘ll be at the South Park Public Library on Monday at 6:30 p.m. Cost is $5, but members of the armed services get in free with a military ID. Most of the speaker’s fee was raised at teas sponsored by the South Park Library Tea Committee.

Mr. Montalvan is a highy decorated veteran who served 17 years. Multiple tours of duty in Iraq left him with traumatic brain injury, back injuries and post-traumatic stress disorder. He survived the war but had difficulty transitioning to peace -- “Until Tuesday.” That’s the name of his best-selling book about the highly trained service dog who helped him heal and who helps him function every day, averting panic attacks in the day and getting Mr. Montalvan through the nightmares that used to destroy his sleep.

Tuesday travels the country with his partner as they spread the word about the need for better treatment for wounded warriors and the need for service dogs, which are not provided by the Veterans Administration or any other government agency. You can buy the book about Tuesday -- and a new children’s book, too, at the library.

Call the library at 412-833-5585 to register.

Low-cost cats

It’s raining cats and kittens at every shelter and rescue in the country at this time of year, which is the months-long kitten birthing season. The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society is coping by offering a special deal: from now through July 6, customers decide what they want to pay to adopt a cat at the North Side shelter, 1101 Western Ave., 15233.

Whether adopters pay $10 or $100, their adopted cat will already be spayed or neutered, have all vaccinations, be micro-chipped and tested for feline leukemia. That’s a market value of  $275.

“Name your price” applies to felines older than 6 months. Kittens can be adopted for 50‍ percent the usual adoption fee, which is $100.

Start your holiday weekend on Wednesday with the Whiskers and Wine meet and greet open house at the shelter, 4-7 p.m. Sample wine and “kitty-themed refreshments,” raffles and give-aways, and meet the adoptable cats.

Pet Tales appears weekly in the Saturday Home & Garden section. Contact Linda Wilson on her Facebook page, lfuoco@post-gazette.com or 412-263-3064.