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Deaf dog who teaches community acceptance wins “Beastly Costume Contest”

dog in convict costume

Oliver, first-place winner. “I was framed.”

A deaf dog named Oliver who makes regular community visits to help people learn the importance of accepting others has won the annual “Beastly Costume Contest” sponsored by BluePearl Veterinary Partners.

Deborah Pack of Edgerton, Mo., said she is delighted her English bulldog won the grand prize, which is a pet lover’s gift basket valued at $100.

“We had hoped if Oliver could win, he could bring his basket to the pets of seniors and the disabled for Christmas,” she said.

That sentiment fits right into her mission of bringing Oliver to schools, senior centers and other community gathering places to stress anti-bullying and acceptance. Oliver has a similar mission with her bulldog puppy named Stanley, who has a cleft palate.

Pack’s picture of Oliver shows him in “jail” with a striped convict’s outfit. Pack jokes that Oliver told her, “I was framed,” and as a result “he now has a life of freedom through our house.”

The two other winners are:

Second place, pet lover’s gift basket valued at $50: Malik Jr., an English bulldog who lives in Brooklyn, N.Y., who was dressed as a political candidate and pledged to “Make America furry again.” Malik lives with Rachel Bennett, who adopted him from Animal Care Centers of NYC.  “Malik’s costume was purchased, but inspired by all of the drama around the upcoming election and I was hoping to give everyone a third “pawty” candidate!” She added that, “All of the treats or prizes that he would win will go to the shelter as he has everything he needs!”

Third place: Pet treats valued at $20: Zach, a 7-year-old dog who lives with Selina Sanders in Virginia Beach. Zach donned a Lady Gaga costume for the contest. “We have three dogs and I love to dress them up,” Sanders said. “Since my dogs are rescues, I thought one of the best ways to help would be to enter them in contests and donate my winnings to my favorite rescues.”

A total of 300 people submitted photos to BluePearl’s Facebook page for this year’s contest and nearly 9,000 people cast votes for their favorites, also via Facebook. The top five-vote-getters became finalists, and BluePearl staff voted for the winners among those five.

dog dressed like political candidate

Second place, Malik Jr. “Make America furry again.”

dog dressed as Lady Gaga

Zach, third place. Lady Gaga, ready to party!