October 25, 2017

Heart-melting, adoptable dogs in Halloween costumes

Morris Animal Refuge has them, and just in time for Halloween

Dogs Costumes
Carroll - Dogs in Halloween Costumes Thom Carroll/PhillyVoice

Since October is Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month, we decided to dress up 12-week-old Lila to make her an irresistible candidate for adoption. You can find Lila and many other dogs and cats at the Morris Animal Refuge at 1245 Lombard St.

October is not just for last-minute costume shopping, it’s also Adopt-a-Shelter-Dog Month. We visited Morris Animal Refuge in Washington Square West to get some pet-centric Halloween inspiration and put a spotlight on dogs currently in need of loving homes.

Founded in 1874 by Elizabeth Morris, the nonprofit bills itself as “America’s first animal shelter” and can accommodate about 20 dogs and 50 cats at a time. Development manager Liberty Britton explains that Morris receives a lot of animals from Southern states where euthanasia is more prevalent. 

“We can usually find homes for puppies and little dogs in Philadelphia. The larger dogs are harder to place,” Britton says.

Britton herself fell in love with 4-year-old Nica, a rat terrier, when Nica arrived at the shelter from Georgia in 2016. 

“No one had been able to get her out of her crate, but she immediately bonded to me. From that moment, she’s never left my side,” Britton says.

Events coordinator Sophie Samuel also found a match at Morris. She adopted 10-month-old Cashew, a terrier mix, last April, after he was abandoned in Fairmount Park, hit by a car and suffered a broken leg. Samuel first took in Cashew as a foster pet, and she says that the experience helped her appreciate the ripple effect of volunteering.

“When you foster one animal, you’re really saving two lives, because you’re making room in the shelter for another dog,” Samuel says.

All of the dogs at Morris are fully vaccinated, spayed/neutered and have been treated by a veterinarian. Find more information about fostering and adopting dogs here

The shelter will host a Halloween Yappy Hour fundraiser with a pet costume contest on Saturday, Oct. 28. 

Also, check out the new PetSmart Center City for Morris adoption events or to buy some of the costumes seen in these photos. 

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Lila is a cuddly 12-week-old Chihuahua/Jack Russell terrier mix who arrived at the shelter from Georgia with her sister, who has already been placed in a permanent home.

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Riki is a fun-loving, energetic terrier mix just under a year old. He loves to learn new tricks, and volunteer Jarell Spears has already taught him several commands.

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Nicole, a 6-month-old Lab/hound mix, is a happy, high-energy dog from Georgia. She loves people and is also great with other dogs.

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Spike, a 3-year-old terrier mix, arrived at the shelter recently when his owner could no longer take care of him because she has too many dogs. Although Spike might seem a bit intimidating at first, he is intelligent and listens well and would be a great pet for someone who has experience with stress behaviors in dogs.

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Benny is the sweet senior of the group, a 9-year-old terrier mix who is friendly and loves to curl up on a lap or socialize with other dogs. 'His personality really blossoms when you spend time with him,' Samuel says. Although Benny needs a little extra care because of a non-contagious skin condition, he is otherwise in good health and would make a wonderful companion.

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Morris Animal Refuge events coordinator Sophie Samuel adopted 10-month-old Cashew, a terrier mix, last April, after he was abandoned in Fairmount Park, hit by a car and suffered a broken leg.

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Lila will make her big-league TV debut on Animal Planet's 'Puppy Bowl XIV' in February. She gets along well with other dogs and loves people.

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Riki's best match is someone with an active lifestyle who would enjoy helping him to achieve his full potential.

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Nicole's ideal match is someone who is willing to work with her to learn more commands, but the good news is that she is very motivated by treats.

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Nica, a four-year-old a Rat Terrier, was adopted by Morris Animal Refuge development manager Liberty Britton.

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Nica cautiously navigates a group of humans at the Morris Animal Refuge.