Jacqueline Haskins Engel: Stop dressing up your pets on Halloween

Thursday, November 07, 2013
To the editor:

Halloween is a time for people to dress in costumes, not pets. Placing glasses, headbands, foot wear and tight-fitting clothes on animals is neither cute nor funny and borders on cruelty. It shows complete disregard for the dignity of these wonderful companion creatures who, in photos, appear miserably uncomfortable when weighed down by constricting garments and accessories not made for their small bodies. Worse yet, they are paraded around and posed for unnatural photographs, all for the bemusement of their owners. If human feelings could be assigned to pets dressed in costumes, they would surely express humiliation and embarrassment.

Pets are creatures of habit and routine. Many are frightened by sudden, unexpected change. Forcing them out of that routine by dressing them in costumes lacks complete respect for their nature. It is a demeaning and disturbing practice that serves no good purpose and should be strongly discouraged by all concerned with the welfare of animals.

Jacqueline Haskins Engel