Pretty as a picture, Shelby, a basset hound saved from...

Pretty as a picture, Shelby, a basset hound saved from an Alabama shelter, sits in the grass after winning third place at Barkfest, a dog costume contest at the Holiday Inn Express in Stony Brook. (Oct. 30, 2011) Credit: Steve Pfost

Pat Schafhautle found the inspiration for her dogs' Halloween costumes the night her Cairn terriers, Calvin and Shadow, awoke her husband with a fit of midnight barking.

When her husband complained, "I said, 'Jerry, they're just watchdogs,' " said Schafhautle, of East Setauket. "And then I got the idea."

The dogs -- dressed Sunday as watches named Roll-ex and Mova-dog -- won first prize in the second Annual Barkfest, a dog costume contest at the Holiday Inn Express in Stony Brook.

Schafhautle's dogs were among about 300 in Sunday's contest, a fundraiser that brought in more than $1,000 for Save-A-Pet, a Port Jefferson Station-based rescue agency that finds permanent homes for abandoned, abused or homeless animals. The event was better attended than last year, when it attracted about 200 dogs and raised about $400, said Dori Scofield, who founded Save-A-Pet.

The dogs spent the afternoon strutting on a baseball diamond behind the Holiday Inn, which organized the event. Schafhautle won a free night at the hotel for her dogs' best overall win, while other dog owners won for creativity, scariness and cuteness.

Quint, a lab mix from Wading River, didn't win any prizes for his black and white jail uniform, but he complemented his owner, John Barillaro, a Suffolk correction officer.

Barillaro, of Wading River, quickly pointed out that Quint, a puppy who briefly skirmished with two chihuahuas dressed as squirrels, is only guilty of being overly friendly. "He's just young," he said.

Jodi Weitz, of South Setauket, won "most unique" for her puggle, Riley, dressed as a horse with a jockey doll on his back.

Melanie Seda, of Stony Brook, brought her Boston terrier, Rudy, who is missing an eye. Rudy, whom Seda adopted through a rescue agency, went as a pirate with a hat and stuffed parrot, but wouldn't keep the eyepatch over his missing eye.

"He was found as a stray," Seda said, adding that Rudy is "very friendly" despite his refusal to wear the full costume.

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