11/01/09 — Halloween goes to the dogs to benefit Humane Society

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Halloween goes to the dogs to benefit Humane Society

By Catharin Shepard
Published in News on November 1, 2009 1:50 AM

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Daisy, a West Highland terrier dressed as a princess, is held by her owner, Suzanne Allen, at the Halloween pet costume contest held at Pet Supplies Plus on Saturday.


First-place winner Charger

More than a dozen Wayne County dogs got into the spooky spirit of Halloween Saturday at the Wayne County Humane Society pet costume contest.

Some of the pooches were more happy with their costumes than others. Daisy, a 12-year-old West Highland white terrier, loved her pale pink princess costume, owner Suzanne Allen said.

"I put it on her last night, and she didn't want me to take it off," Mrs. Allen said.

Others, like 12-week-old boxer/English bulldog mix Laila, weren't so sure they liked being dressed up for Halloween. By the time the judges were ready to make a decision, the puppy's full-body squirrel costume had already suffered a few chew marks and some drool.

"She was eating her head earlier, but she got used to it," owner Tobi Haynes said.

A 5-year-old beagle named Ruby, adopted from the animal shelter, wasn't too pleased with one part of her bright red and pink fairy costume.

"We're not sure if she's going to keep the skirt on or not," owner Janet Lancaster said, as Ruby wriggled on her leash.

Some of the costumes focused on the cute factor, like Steve Harlow's black Pomeranian, Foxy. Her bumblebee costume won the toy breed fifth place in the costume contest. Harlow and Foxy came out to show support to the Humane Society, he said.

"I believe it's a good cause," Harlow said.

He also claimed the prize in the 50/50 raffle, and donated the proceeds back to the Humane Society.

Others took an upscale approach to pet costuming. Scooter the Dalmatian was dressed as a ballroom dancer in a black and white costume and top hat that matched owner Julia Anderson's outfit.

Scooter is no stranger to costume contests, and recently won a competition at the Adopt-a-Spot Dalmatian breed rescue event in Chesapeake, Va.

"We dress up every year," Ms. Anderson said.

Scooter was a rescued dog, and Ms. Anderson often works to rescue Dalmatians. She and Scooter came out to the costume contest to help support the Humane Society, she said.

"I'm a big believer in animal rights, in spaying and neutering," Ms. Anderson said. "North Carolina has a long way to go."

Besides the fun for people and their pets, the event was a benefit fundraiser for the Humane Society. Organizer Suzie Wharton said the contest raised about $200 for the spay and neuter program.

"It was very successful, I'm thankful for all the participation," she said.

First prize in the contest went to Jenny Ohnheiser's Chihuahua, Charger. The nine-pound dog was rescued from an abusive home when he was a year old, and it's taken the four years since for his loving family to help him recover, Ms. Ohnheiser said.

"He's a little scared, (but) he's come a long way," she said.

The pint-sized astronaut wasn't sure what to make of his metallic space suit costume, but the design caught the judges' eyes. Charger won a year's supply of Nutro dog food from Pet Supplies Plus, one of the competition sponsors. Ms. Ohnheiser also received gift certificates to Downtown Deli and Starbucks.

Scooter the Dalmatian claimed second place in his ballroom dancer's costume, while Tinkerbell the boxer/pitbull terrier mix won third place for her Tinkerbell costume and Lily's witch costume won fourth place.

The next fund-raising event for the Wayne County Humane Society will be holiday pet portraits taken at Pet Supplies Plus on Berkeley Boulevard. The photo shoot will be Nov. 21 from - p.m. Portraits will be $10 for a 4x6 photo.