Sara Alavi hopes her Instagram page will encourage more people to foster or adopt.

By Meghan Overdeep
October 14, 2020
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Sara Alavi and her rescue dog Nelly have found the cutest way to celebrate Halloween.

As part of a challenge she’s calling “Nellyween,” Alavi is posting amazing photos of Nelly wearing Halloween costumes to her Instagram page @dearpups every day for the month of October.

Alavi, who has fostered hundreds of rescue dogs and cats, created the Instagram account a few years ago to help her foster animals find their forever homes. Although she admits to having been bad about updating the page in the past, Nellyween has gotten her out of her rut.

“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, of Huntsville, Alabama, explained to AL.com. “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.”

So far Nellyween has included costumes like Ruff Bader Ginsburg, Eve, Carol Baskin, and even the dress from Carol Burnett’s iconic parody of Gone with the Wind.

Alavi refers to Nelly a “pomchillon,” her own name for a mix between a Pomeranian, chihuahua, and papillon. Nelly, 12, also happens to be her first, and only, foster fail… so far.

“She has shown the ropes to the hundreds of foster dogs and cats who have been with us before finding their forever homes,” she told AL.com. “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.”

Alavi’s hope is that the Instagram page will encourage more people to foster or adopt. “Fostering not only saves lives, but fulfills the lives of your own pets too,” she told Southern Living.

We couldn’t agree more!