Alabama woman dressing dogs for Halloween to help find forever homes

Cute doggies? Check. Cute costumes? Check.

Adorable way to let people know about rescue dogs? Check, times a gabillion.

Huntsville resident Sara Alavi has been fostering rescue dogs until they can be adopted. And to help find those forever homes, Alavi created the Instagram page @dearpups. “I created the page to share some fun images of my own rescue dogs and some of my fosters in hopes that they might get adopted,” she said, although she says has been lax in keeping it updated in the past.

Now she’s found an awwww-inspiring way to keep her page current: During October, she is posting photos each day of her dog, Nelly aka Jellybean, and some of her fosters wearing Halloween costumes. She is calling the challenge Nellyween and so far it includes costumes like Ruff Bader Ginsburg, Eve, Carol Baskin, and even the famed dress from Carol Burnett’s parody of “Gone with the Wind.” She said she looks forward to suggestions from followers of creative costumes.

“I have always sewn and created Halloween costumes for my dogs throughout the years. The costumes are usually something current to do with pop culture and I look for inspiration all year,” Alavi said. “Three years ago, my best friend challenged me to do a costume for each day of the month of October. I figured if there is ever a year to do it, this would be the year. I figured people could use a smile (or laugh). And, thankfully, I have an incredibly tolerant dog who humors me. Being cold-natured, she can usually be found wearing clothing anyways and, in fact, gets upset when she has to change for laundry day.”

Alavi says Nelly’s breed is a “pomchillon,” her own name for “a mix between a pomeranian, chihuahua and papillon.”

“It’s a pretty fancy-sounding name for a four-pound mutt,” she jokes.

Alavi says she Nelly is the one dog she couldn’t send to another home. “She quickly stole my heart and became my first, and only, foster fail … so far. Since then, she has shown the ropes to the hundreds of foster dogs and cats who have been with us before finding their forever homes,” Alavi says. “She particularly loves ‘bossing’ the puppy fosters around and keeping them in line and I attribute the fact that she still acts so young and puppy-like herself to that.”

The Instagram page will hopefully bring more people to Huntsville rescue centers – or centers in any city – to offer to foster or adopt.

“We are fortunate that our municipal animal shelter here in Huntsville works to find fosters, adopters or place the pets with local rescues. Both Huntsville Animal Services and our local rescues can save even more lives if they had even more fosters,” she says. “Two nonprofits, in particular, that are doing an amazing job at taking care of and helping find great adopters for the pets in their care are Madison Small Pups and Greater Huntsville Humane Society – and many of my fosters have been fostered through them.”

Contact Madison Small Pups here. Contact the Greater Huntsville Humane Society here. Follow Nelly on the Dear Pups Instagram page here.


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