Howl-O-Ween Pet Costume Contest Raises Money for Humane Society

By Mathew Katz on October 28, 2011 3:06pm 

HELL'S KITCHEN — The Copacabana went to the dogs (and one parrot) Wednesday night for a spooky, but mostly adorable, Howl-O-Ween costume contest and benefit for the Humane Society of New York.

"You get amazing dogs dressed up in the most fabulous costumes, because they're all vying to win the the grand prize," said Wendy Diamond of AnimalFair.com, which hosted the event, now in its 11th year, at the club at 268 W. 47th St.

The prizes for best-dressed doggie (and their owners) was $1,000 worth of pet products, including dog treats, grooming gear, and a vacuum to take care of fuzzy messes. The winner also gets to join Diamond and her pooch, Lucky, on NBC's "Today Show" on Halloween.

The costumes ranged from the adorable to the ridiculous, including a small-scale recreation of a collapsable castle from the game "Angry Birds," and a puppy dressed up as a cigarette (his owner dressed as a cigarette girl).

Roberto Negrin, a pet fashion designer who helped make some of the more elaborate costumes, brought his poodle Hec-Lin as (a wingless) Tinkerbell to his Peter Pan.

"During Halloween we do a ton of costumes," he said. "I get to have a lot of fun."

Christine Brown, a designer on Bravo TV's "Mad Fashion," was there as a judge, but that didn't stop her from dressing up in a sparkly blue flight attendant ensemble with her Shih Tzu, Babydog Glamorloo.

"We are flight attendants from 'Glitter Critter Airlines,'" Brown said. "That's an airline I made up that goes only to Fashion Week, for people and their pets."

Sandra DeFeo, Executive Director of the Humane Society of New York, was dressed up as a pirate princess with Anna, a year-old Brussels Griffon mix up for adoption.

"This event has been a great fundraiser for 11 years," she said. "It's helped raise much-needed funds  and awareness of animals available for adoption, and the human-animal bond."

Even though hundreds of hopeful hounds and their masters showed up in full costume, only one could win top dog. The winner was Christian Martinez, along with his pups Betty Boop and Choppy. The three were dressed as the Frankenstein family — including the monster and his bride.

Hostess Wendy Diamond emceed the 11th annual Animalfair.com Pet Costume Contest, Oct. 27, 2011.
Hostess Wendy Diamond emceed the 11th annual Animalfair.com Pet Costume Contest, Oct. 27, 2011.
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"I tried to come up with something that's unique and something we could do together," he said, pausing for a moment. "I'm so excited we'll be on TV. I hope we do well."

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