A bunch of pups went bump in the night at New York City’s Tompkins Square Park Saturday as thousands of canines showed up in elaborate costumes for the 27th annual Dog Halloween Parade.
Oscar, a paralyzed pup that relies on the use of his two front legs, had his wheelchair transformed into a space station, complete with official NASA patches and stickers the organization had sent them.
“He’s on a lunar mission,” his owner Rick Van Benschoten joked. “His mom built [the costume]. She added the little Earth that he’s circling around and the little astronaut, and the moon rocks.”
Van Benschoten explained that Oscar was paralyzed when the canine was rescued from the streets nearly seven years ago.
“He has no idea he has a special need,” he said. “He’s too busy having fun. He just wants to go out and party with all these gorgeous dogs.”
Franklin, a 5-year-old dog, took home fifth place with a jab at current events. He donned a blond wig and a suit, and hanging off his collar was a roll of paper towels with the words “Hurricane Relief” written across the front.
“Franklin loves dressing up and making statements,” his owners said. “This is Donald Trump’s relief effort in Puerto Rico.”
A tiny pup took a huge political stance – and a runner up prize – dressed as a character from The Handmaid’s Tale.
Some humans decided to join in on the fun by dressing up in coordinating costumes with their dogs.
Bleu, a 5-month-old rescue puppy, couldn’t escape the grip of his owner, dressed as Pennywise the Dancing Clown from Stephen King’s It.
“At the beginning, she was a bit uncomfortable, but now she’s okay,” his owner Andres Isaquita said, chillingly. “She likes scary movies too.”
Dog owner Bridie Myles put on her best fisherman’s costume as she carried her two tiny dogs, also known as the “catches of the day,” in a makeshift crab trap.
Tansy, a 3-year-old dog weighing only one pound, dressed in a turquoise sea goddess costume, while Cora, a 6-year-old dog weighing 2 pounds, wore a lobster costume.
“Since they’re so tiny, I have to really make sure that they’re safe,” Myles said.
Taking home first place was a trio of pups disguised as sea life: Geppetto, a salt water angel fish, Gianna, a venomous lion fish and Penelope, a clown fish.
“I wanted something colorful and lively,” said pet store owner Diane Lucchi. “What better costume for a dog than to be a fish?”
Among the many stars, a family of four French bulldogs dressed as tourists – complete with selfie sticks and Yankees baseball caps and perched upon a New York Sightseeing double-decker tour bus – took home the Best in Show title.
“What’s more iconic than having a double-decker tour bus?” one of their owners, Dianne Ferrer, asked. “We have Dakota, who is rooting for the Yankees tonight. We have Lady Liberty with her selfie stick, and we have Gus, the bus driver.”
Sprout, dressed as Oscar the Grouch, stole fifth place, despite the judges agreement that his costume stinks.
“It seemed to work well for him because he just pouts all the time, even though he’s the happiest dog ever,” his owner Sigrid Neilson joked. “He’s in his little trash can and it’s filled with very New Yorker-y trash. It’s pretty much coffee cups, champagne bottles and pizza boxes.”
Ginger, a rescue pup dressed as a plane inspired by her big floppy ears, took her first ride on an airplane to participate in the Halloween Dog Parade.
She and her owners Ben Kaplan and Virginie Eskenazi flew to New York from San Francisco for the week.
“We’d seen [the dog parade] in the media for a couple of years and we thought that’d be really fun,” Kaplan said. “This is our one-year anniversary of adopting her. She’s enriched our lives in every way. We love her so much that we just want to do more and more things with her.”
In fact, Ginger isn’t the only dog that traveled a great distance to show off her costume.
Rescues like The Paws Cause from Dallas traveled to New York to share their love for their animals.
“People just want an opportunity to show off with their dogs,” Parade Coordinator Garrett Rosso told InsideEdition.com. “This is their best friend. It’s a time to come out and just have fun with your dog and get to show them off to other people.”
Rosso has been hosting the event since its inception in 1990.
“When it first started, nobody was making Halloween costumes for dogs anywhere,” Rosso said. “Every year, somebody would get a store-bought mask and put it on their dog and walk over to the park and eventually one day we decided, ‘You know, we should get a prize for this.'”