Tony McGinn

SMDP Intern

Halloween in Santa Monica features more than simply black cats. At least four events in the final week of October shine a spotlight on Santa Monica’s vibrant pet community, with scavenger hunts, costume contests and parades giving residents plenty of opportunities to enjoy fall festivities with their furry friends.

One of the biggest events of the season is Main Street’s fourth annual “Howl-o-ween” event at the Pacific Street Dog Park, located three blocks south of Pico Blvd at 2100 Main Street. Main Street’s Howl-o-ween is on October 27, from 3 to 6 p.m., and is organized by the Main Street Business Improvement Association. The event expects a few hundred residents to attend, according to the title sponsor, Christine Costello, of Sotheby’s Realty. This year, the costume contest and parade have expanded to include a scavenger hunt that will allow residents and their pooches to visit various pet-friendly local businesses along Main Street and collect prizes along the way. While collecting giveaways along the scavenger hunt route, pet owners can also purchase a “Dawgs of Dogtown” coffee table book that collects some of the highlights from the photo booth. Due to the size of the event, a side street will be closed to accommodate food trucks, vendors, and a free pumpkin decorating station. Residents can learn more at Main Street’s website,

The top three finalists of the costume contest can receive a luxury memory foam dog bed from Essentia, a Beach Bag and Swag from Visit Santa Monica, or a $100 cash prize. Last year’s winning duo, Dino the dog and his owner, came as “Count Dino” and a vampire slayer, complete with a small coffin on wheels for Dino to sit in during the parade; the year before, they showcased the Disney/Pixar movie “Up,” with Dino dressed as the iconic house with a bouquet of balloons.

Also on October 27, Ashland Hill is having a Spooky “Yappy Hour” event in their parking lot, from noon until 6 p.m. Just down the block from Pacific Street Dog Park at 2807 Main St, Ashland Hill has hosted a monthly dog-friendly “Yappy Hour” on the first Tuesday of every month for the last three years, featuring “Drinks for a Cause” with 100% of the proceeds going to a featured rescue. The Halloween event includes its own costume contest for pups, and will benefit three local rescues: Mutt Match LA, Foxy & The Hound, and Karma Rescue. Spooky Yappy hour’s vendors include Healthy Spot and Kriser’s Natural Pet store. Admission is $10; tickets and information are available at

Healthy Spot, in addition to its partnership with Ashland Hill, is having their own Halloween bash for pets. Beginning in 2012 at their flagship store, located at 1110 Wilshire Blvd, Healthy Spot has run a Halloween event for pets every year. This year’s event takes place on October 24, a Thursday, at 7 p.m., and expects to draw about 300 participants; the parking lot will be used to give pets and their owners room to socialize. Raffle proceeds will be donated to Rescue Train, with prizes such as a grooming salon certificate. For pups who lack a costume for the costume contest, but still have a competitive spirit, there will be a pumpkin pie eating contest, with two categories for small and large dogs. Interested attendees can learn more at

Sierra Enticknap, Healthy Spot’s senior marketing manager, describes her favorite pet costume from last year as a dog dressed as a lobster, being carried in a pot by their chef human.

Finally, the Retail Store at 1020 Wilshire Ave has teamed up with Wags and Walks Adoption Center for a “Bark-or-Treat” pet adoption event. On Friday, October 25, from noon until 4 p.m., the store will feature adoptable dogs as well as games, raffles, and giveaways. More information can be found at

The Santa Monica animal shelter is offering $20 cat adoptions throughout the week of October.

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