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SPCA Pet Walk: Does your dog have what it takes to impress costume-fiend Ezra the Yorkie?

SPCA Tampa Bay will hold its annual Pet Walk and costume contest to raise money for the animal rescue organization this weekend. (Courtesy of SPCA Tampa Bay)
Published Oct. 5, 2017

You remember Ezra the Yorkie, right? He's the St. Petersburg puppy mill dog who stole hearts last year as he gained fame on Instagram dressed as a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle, Donald Trump, Captain America and, well, the list could go on close to forever.

Ezra is not lacking for dress-up clothes and snappy ensembles.

Read more: From puppy mill to photo shoots, Ezra the St. Petersburg Yorkie is budding online celeb

So it makes sense the rescue dog turned celeb pooch will don a new title this weekend as an ambassador for SPCA Tampa Bay: costume judge. (Okay, so his humans might have to help with the judging part.)

Saturday is the annual SPCA Tampa Bay Pet Walk, where dogs will not only walk with their owners to raise money to help rescue animals but also have the chance to strut their stuff in a Halloween-spirited costume contest. Last year's highlights included a pug dressed up as a fairy tale style "Three Little Pugs" house and a pup donning a plate of pasta.

Ezra's owner, Kevin Bowen, began dressing up the tiny Yorkie and putting his photos on social media as a way to share the once abused dog's story. Ezra spent the first couple years of his life in a puppy mill cage, likely used only to breed, before the SPCA rescued him. Bowen adopted Ezra in 2012 while living in North Carolina.

"We aren't sure what Ezra's going to wear," Bowen said in a video posted to the SPCA Tampa Bay's Facebook page promoting the Pet Walk.

In another clip Bowen's partner, Rob Pittman, said they're considering an 1980s-inspried outfit.

"You don't know nothing about the '80s," Pittman said while looking down at Ezra.

"But we do," he laughed.

Whatever Ezra decides to wear is sure to slay.

This year's Pet Walk will help the local animal rescue group build up resources it lost in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma when it took in more than 80 displaced animals. The money will also help fund adoption services, behavior help programs and the Pebbles Food Bank.

The event starts on Oct. 7 at 8:30 a.m. and the walk begins at 10 a.m. at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg.

Registration is $25 and can be done at Petwalk.org.

Contact Sara DiNatale at sdinatale@tampabay.com. Follow @sara_dinatale.

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