While there were plenty of contest winners at the Heart of the Catskills Humane Society’s Howl-O-Ween event on Saturday, the biggest winners were the dogs and cats that found “forever homes.”
Howl-O-Ween, held at the Delhi American Legion field, is an annual fundraiser for the shelter. The family- and pet-friendly event gives the facility a chance to showcase its adoptable pets in an atmosphere made festive with contests, costumes, music and fall-themed decorations
“The event is designed to include the community,” said director Deb Crute.
As dogs met dogs and people browsed the latest pet products, Crute introduced about a dozen dogs that are available for adoption through the shelter.
“Dell, a 10-year Shepherd mix, is affectionate, smart and knows commands,” said Deb Crute over the microphone. “Bentley is a 3-year neutered pit bull mix, great with other dogs and very nice. Lady, a basset hound, has the sweetest disposition and energy.”
On their best behavior, each dog, assisted by staff members and volunteers, walked around and became acquainted with the community. Cats were not to be left out of the Howl-O-Ween event. Under a tent, in clean cages, were cats the shelter officials also hoped to place in permanent homes.
In keeping with the Halloween theme, mingling in the crowd were burglars, ostriches, witches, cowgirls and balloon bundles. Heart of the Catskills board member Brent Truitt said he spent weeks in the garage making his disguise, “a large cat scratcher,” he said through a peep hole.
Dressed as “a nice witch of Oz,” Nancy Delameter of Hancock said she comes to the event each year.
“My husband, Chester, volunteers as DJ,” Delameter said.
“And, it’s fun being able to wear costumes. I made the hat and got my shoes at Goodwill,” she noted while holding her “peek-a-poo,” 9-year-old Opie, also dressed in purple to match.