Humane Society scares up fun at Howl-o-ween with mutt show, bone yard

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — Dogs of all shapes and sizes brought their humans along to the Humane Society of Indian River County and Vero Beach in hopes of scaring up a good time at the center’s Howl-o-ween.

Bucky and Biscuit, both retrievers, dressed as Roman gladiators to fit their human, Haley Stone. “That just seemed to fit the flavor of the day,” Stone said of the costumes. They had finished watching Clash of the Titans and went out in search of costumes.

They consistently dress in the same theme, Stone added.

“They don’t object,” Stone’s mother, Jeanne, said. “They just think it’s part of everyday life.”

Also participating in the Halloween-themed All American Mutt Show, was Apollo – a 3-year-old, 190-pound Great Dane.

The white Dane with a few natural black spots was well-suited to be a Chik-fil-A Cow for Halloween. With a blown up glove as his udder, a cow bell around his neck and a sandwich board reading “Eat More Chikin,” he commanded attention from those nearby.

His human, Debbie Botti, was in attendance to show him off in the “Paul Bunyon” category.

In the “Tom Thumb/TInkerbell,” was Jennifer, a 6-month-old Yorkie-Lhasa Apso dressed as a jailbird.

“She got pinched,” her Gangster dad, Bret Martinelli said. “We haven’t gotten her out yet.”

Martinelli said the idea for the costumes weren’t much of a stretch.

“We’re really gangsters,” he said, nodding to his companion, Cassie, who was dressed as a Hit Girl. Also in tow with the Martinellis was Lady Gaga – a.k.a. Mimi.

Along with the mutt show, dogs and kids had fun playing games and searching for bones – Milkbones that is.

Albion, a 3-year-old Cockapoo, took a turn in the bone yard searching for treats amongst the hay.

Dressed as a skeleton, it looked like he was trying to find his missing bones.

Albion had to be pulled from the bone yard after just a few minutes because he had found so many treats, his human, Ken Sweet was concerned he’d get sick.

“He’s an expert at this point,” said Sweet.


With Halloween upon us, the Humane Society offers the following advice for keeping your dogs and cats safe and less-stressed as Trick-or-Treaters come to your door:

Walk dogs before dark and keep cats indoors. Once night falls, trick-or-treaters will be out in groups, often making loud noises that can frighten pets. Cats are always safest indoors and it’s best to walk dogs before festivities begin. It’s especially important that pets wear their collars and ID tags if you’ll be opening the door repeatedly for trick-or-treaters. Keep pets in a secure and quiet room for maximum safety.

Know what to keep out of paws’ reach. Chocolate candy as well as plastic and aluminum wrappers can be toxic to animals. Explain the importance of not feeding candy to pets to all family members. And Jack-o-lanterns and Halloween props around the home may brighten up festivities, but any item containing candles or electrical cords should be kept at a safe distance from all pets.

If you are dressing up your pet, make sure it’s done safely. While most animals prefer not to wear costumes, if this is something that you and your pet both enjoy, make sure the costume isn’t flammable and doesn’t restrict your pet’s eyesight, breathing or circulation.

In the event of a pet emergency, call for help. Accidents can happen even when people take precautions. Keep your veterinarian’s emergency number on hand as well as the National Animal Poison Control Center (888) 426-4435. For pets that become lost on Halloween, call the Humane Society’s Lost and Found hotline at (772) 388-3331 ext. 29.

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