BELMONT COUNTY, Ohio (WTRF) – Dogs of all kinds, big and small, dressed up as their favorite characters, creepy crawlies, and cuisines. 

This is all part of Belmont County Sheriff David Lucas’s idea to add a dog park to Belmont County. 

He says that the total cost to build the park is around $80,000 – $90,000. 

”The commissioners were phenomenal. They liked the idea from the beginning, and we were able to work out the location. Then once that was going to happen, the Road Home Animal Project partnered with us and is our non-profit organization. By word-of-mouth, you know, social media, we’ve been getting donations and we’re off on a good start. I came up with this idea and I said, ‘Hey, let’s do a Halloween dog costume contest.”

David Lucas – Sheriff, Belmont County

The Road Home Animal Project is a volunteer and foster based organization, where volunteers work out of their homes to provide foster care, rehabilitation, evaluations, socialization and training for animals in need. 

They are having a separate Road Home Animal Project Alumni Category, and the project’s president says that seeing animals that have gone through their program thriving is why they do what they do. 

”Some of the ones are here are dogs that have come in that were in very bad shape. Some of them were Parvo dogs that are here now that have recovered. There’s even one here that was loose in Bethlehem for 2 1/2 almost 3 months that was caught. He’s actually here. We’ve got him socialized. He’s got a great home and he’s here today. So, it’s some dogs that have been through some really tough times are here and it’s great to see them doing so well.”

Chris Shriver – President, Road Home Animal Project

Costumes were awarded by categories like, silliest, cutest, best handmade, most creepy and even a people’s choice award that everyone could vote on. 

Our very own D.K. Wright was one of the judges tasked with making these very tough decisions. 

Trophy or not, Sheriff Lucas says that the end goal will be a win for everyone in Belmont County. 

“From that, and things like this – we’re not going to stop. We’re going to keep on fundraising and I’m hoping within the next two years this will get built.”

David Lucas – Sheriff, Belmont County

Although it’s the first of its kind, today’s event is directly impacting the future and they say that this costume contest could be the new annual ending of ‘Dogtober’.