SARASOTA, FLA.- Halloween started early Wednesday morning at Phillippi Park. Pet owners showed up with tall dogs, short dogs, big dogs and little dogs all dressed in Halloween costumes.
“It is just kind of fun. People seem to think it is funny and I like to make smile. Rico makes people smile,” said pet owner Sue Nielson.
Pet owners were at the park Wednesday for the pet costume contest raising money for the Humane Society of Sarasota County.
No matter what you think about dressing pets in costumes, the fact is, Halloween is big business for pet costume retailers. According to the National Retail Federation, Americans will spend an estimated $330 million this year to dress fury friends in costumes.
“I spend, well I don’t spend that much on my pet but I spend a lot on my pets, they are very spoiled” said Daniel Plonski.
He told ABC 7 he spent $150 this year to buy his dog, Java Chip, a custom made costume. Other pet owners skipped the store and hand made costumes.
“I just made the pom-poms and sewed them on. I hand made the whole thing. I had to glue on the ears and everything,” explained Hannah Ayers who dressed here dog Skipper as the Cowardly Lion. Ayers said she only spent $15.
While Americans will spend $330 million dressing up their pets, the National Retail Federation project the total spending on costumes, treats, parties and pets will reach $6.9 billion this year, compared to $8 billion last year.