PET PA­RADE AT SPCA

Ulster res­cue shel­ter’s ‘alumni’ and friends at­tend Howl-O-Ween event

Daily Freeman (Kingston, NY) - - FRONT PAGE - By Free­man staff

The fourth an­nual Ulster County SPCA Howl-O-Ween Party Satur­day brought out about 15 dogs, dressed as su­per he­roes, an­gels, zom­bie hunters and movie char­ac­ters, and their own­ers — some of whom were dressed to com­pli­ment their dog’s at­tire.

Many of the ca­nine par­tic­i­pants were re­turn­ing to the SPCA where they’d been adopted in the past few years, oth­ers were res­cued from a va­ri­ety of or­ga­ni­za­tions and at least one was a pure­bred.

Meeka, a 1 1/2 year old fe­male Jack Russell ter­rier who was dressed as Pooches the cheer­leader, is new to the Es­pos­ito fam­ily of Kingston. She was adopted about two months ago from Ge­or­gia through Petfinder.com, her owner Jan­ice Es­pos­ito said.

It turns out, Meeka has a cheer­lead­ing role at home ev­ery day, as well as on Hal­loween. Jan­ice Es­pos­ito said the pooch was adopted in hopes of cheer­ing up her hus­band Robert Es­pos­ito, who is liv­ing with stage four can­cer.

On Fri­day, Jan­ice said, when her hus­band wasn’t feel­ing well, Meeka spent the

day by his side. “We call her

Meeka the nurse,” she said.

Jan­ice said she hadn’t had a dog in 30 years but when she saw Meeka it was “love at first sight.” Her daugh­ter, Sa­man­tha

Pacheco, who said she’d moved home to help care for her step­fa­ther, said Meeka has seem­lessly adapted to her role as an “emo­tional sup­port dog.” Ex­cept for one brief spat that was eas­ily re­solved, all of the par­tic­i­pat­ing pooches got along just fine, show­ing no ob­vi­ous signs of jeal­ousy as SPCA

direc­tor Adam Saun­ders an­nounced win­ners in five cat­e­gories — a pet-owner look alike con­test, best group, scari­est, fun­ni­est and most orig­i­nal.

Saun­ders called the an­nual pa­rade is “a nice event for alumni” when “an­i­mals adopted from here come back for a visit and we get to see them.”

TANIA BARRICKLO — DAILY FREE­MAN

This ca­nine pack won the con­test for the “Most Orig­i­nal” cat­e­gory at the fourth an­nual UCSPCA Hal­loween Party and Pet Pa­rade in Kingston Satur­day af­ter­noon. The Scare­crow, left, Cow­ardly Lion, and Dorothy are owned by Carol DiMetro of High­land and the Tin Man, sec­ond from left, is owned by Jackie DiMetro of Kingston.

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