County residents and dogs win prizes in annual costume contest

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ESSEX COUNTY, NJ — Essex County Executive Joseph DiVincenzo Jr. welcomed dog owners and their pets to the county’s annual “Strut Your Mutt” canine costume parades and contests at the Brookdale Dog Park Bloomfield/Montclair and the South Mountain Dog Park in Maplewood/Millburn on Saturday, Oct. 21.

At the Brookdale Dog Park contest, Dominique and Dana Borzomati from Montclair and their pets Abby and Gracie, who were dressed as a pirate and terrorizing alligator, won Best in Show. In the Cutest Costume category, Monique Gallardo from Bloomfield and her pet Oliver, who dressed as a taco, won first place; Maggie Garcia from Bloomfield and her pet Cooper, who dressed as a plate of spaghetti and meatballs, won second place; and an animal handler from the Bloomfield Animal Shelter and Bacon, a dog that is up for adoption and dressed as President Abraham Lincoln, won third place. In the Most Creative Costume category, Regina Mahon from Bayonne and her pet Gizmo, who was dressed as an astronaut, won first place; Lauren Zodel from Montclair and her pet Frankie, who was dressed as an octopus, won second place; and Rose Hayward from Montclair and her pets Molly and Liam, who were dressed as a spider and butterfly, won third place. In the Group Costume category, Kristen Graham and Vanessa Kabash from Hawthorne and their pets Sadie, Benji and Ollie, who were dressed as characters from “Toy Story,” won first place; Bobby and Brandon Pecarific from Montclair and their pet Cash, who dressed as characters from “Ghostbusters,” won second place; and Lauren, Chris, Connor and Aiden Kowalski from Bloomfield and their pets Ernie and Gino, who dressed as firefighters, won third place.

At the South Mountain Dog Park contest, Kelly and Aaron Sandler from Maplewood and their pet Daisy, who was dressed as a pineapple, won Best in Show. In the Cutest Costume category, Hani Dean from West Orange and her pet Princess Asha, who was dressed as a princess, won first place; Shirley Cain from Caldwell and her dog Pip, who was dressed as Pirate Captain Pip Squeak, won second place; and Regina Mahon from Bayonne and her pet Gizmo, who was dressed as an astronaut, won third place. In the Most Creative Costume category, the Hummert family from Millburn and their pets Angus and Clyde, who were dressed as characters from “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory,” won first place; Taylor Shapiro and her pet Luke, who was dressed as a Native American, won second place; and Joy Scally and her pet William, who was dressed as a train conductor, won third place. In the Best Owner-Pet Costume category, Kayla Rexford from South Orange and her team, who were dressed as characters from “The Wizard of Oz,” won first place; Stephen Weiss from South Orange and his pet Sierra, who were dressed as businessmen, won second place; and Paul Subon from Bloomfield and his pet Finley, who were dressed as a spoon and container of ice cream, won third place.

Photos Courtesy of Glen Frieson

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