10/31/10 — Costumed pooches battle for top honors

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Costumed pooches battle for top honors

By Phyllis Moore
Published in News on October 31, 2010 1:50 AM

Halloween costumes aren't just for kids. Grownups and pets can get in on the act, too.

More than 30 pet owners, along with their pets, turned out Saturday for the annual Halloween costumed pet contest at Pets Supplies Plus on Berkeley Boulevard.

Robert and Chong Purser registered Boston terrier Karl for judging in a green centipede costume they'd picked up at T.J. Maxx.

"It's actually my son's dog and he left it with us for the weekend," Purser said. "We asked if we could dress him up and my son said "Yes."

Karl apparently didn't mind making a fashion statement, either.

"We put (the costume) on him and he went over to his bed and started playing with a chew toy, but they have been putting a coat on him in the winter, so he's used to it," Purser said.

Tall, lanky black poodle Maggie and lab mix Henry were dressed like a canine version of "Grease." Maggie wore, appropriately enough, a poodle skirt, chiffon scarf and socks with polka dot bows while Henry was clad as a greaser bad boy with a leather jacket bearing the message, "Bad to the bone."

Owner Traycee Williams of Goldsboro and daughter Kelsee Bratley, 15, paraded the pets before the judges.

"My daughter and I work with the shelter and we just thought this would be a really cool way to help out as well," she said of the contest, which serves as a fundraiser for the Wayne County Humane Society.

Younger son Kyle Williams, 8, was also a big help as the family transported their animals to the contest.

"I had to sit with them in the back seat," he said of his role.

Katelyn Stevens of Goldsboro hadn't even heard about the contest until her pet highland terrier, Ollie, inadvertently got tangled up in his leash earlier in the day.

"We got out at the pet store and his leash got caught in the door and it locked the door up," she said. "I had to cut it out ... and we found this costume when we came in to Pet Supplies Plus for another leash. I didn't know about the contest until we got here."

Ollie was dressed like a soccer player, complete with a miniature soccer ball round his neck.

What could have been a tragic case of two females coming face to face wearing the same outfit was quickly resolved when one owner noticed a distinction between the similar gauzy costumes featuring wings.

Myley, a two-year-old Chihuahua, was actually "Tinker Bell," said her owner, Kresant Kelly of Goldsboro, while Jade, owned by Tanya Behuniak of Goldsboro, was a fairy princess.

Crisis averted, Mrs. Behuniak said her three-month-old dog was doing well during all the hoopla of the crowd.

"She's a puppy so we thought it would be a good socialization, to meet other dogs," Mrs. Behuniak said.

The local Humane Society has sponsored the event since 2004, although there were a few years in-between when it was not held, said organizer Suzi Wharton.

"This year's really popular," she said. "It's really exploded."

Each entrant paid a $10 donation fee and judging was based on originality, owner and companion dressed alike, costume efforts and overall appearance.

First place, a year's supply of Nutro dog food, went to Scooter and Scamper, a police and convict duo, owned by Julia Anderson.

Second place went to Skippy, a golden retriever who was decked out as a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. Owner Gabby Cornman received a three- month supply of Blue Buffalo dog food.

Third place, a $50 gift certificate to Pet Supplies Plus, went to Chloe, a beagle trail mix, dressed as a ladybug. Her owner is Amy Clarke.

Spartacus, the grim reaper's pet, owned by Justin Johnson, received the fourth-place prize, a $50 gift certificate to Pet Supplies Plus.

Another $50 gift certificate went to Gramalkin, Sally Humphreys' cat who was dressed like a martian.