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It was half Halloween party, half fundraiser at the Glen Ridge Commons Club House on Sunday from 1 to 4 p.m.

Jenni Arnold, an organizer for the Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League, teamed up with the property manager for the apartment complex to put together the event that would benefit New Orleans animal relief efforts by both the rescue league and the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Arnold, who was dressing her Dane Wee Wu as Darth Vader, is even looking into finding a mate for her.

“They’re like potato chips,” Arnold said. “You can’t just have one.”

Anja Mottern, the property manager, said, “We’re pet lovers here. We don’t have a weight limit for dogs, so we’re hoping we can introduce ourselves to some Dane owners looking for apartments.”

The rescue league is, among other things, a resource for people wanting to give foster care for displaced Danes.

Margy Hofsass, of Burke, and her husband have been foster parents for two Danes since joining the league last summer.

The league provides money for the medical expenses, including veterinarian visits. As for the foster parents — “We provide the love, food and companionship,” Hofsass said.

To be a volunteer or foster parent for the league requires that the person go through an application process that consists of a telephone interview and a house visit.

Hofsass said she recommends foster parenting for any person considering buying a Great Dane.

“You have to realize how big these dogs are,” she said, “and see if they’ll work in your house.”

Kelly Alexander joined the rescue league in June after finding out about it through friends. After losing her rottweiler, Alexander decided to become a Dane owner.

“We couldn’t ever replace our rottweiler,” she said, “but we love big dogs. A big dog just has such a different presence.”

She brought along her 16-month-old Dane, Giles, whom she planned to dress up as a jailbird for the costume contest.

The fundraiser, held at 12810 Island House Loop in Woodbridge, also included a pets first aid class provided by Pamela Ahart and Beth Gardener, of Pet First Aid & Care.

Mottern had wanted to do a pets first aid class for quite some time, Arnold said, but the Red Cross had backed out a couple of times. So when Nikki Russell, coordinator for the league, recommended a certified pet instructor to do the job, Arnold asked Mottern if she still wanted to “do her thing” and from there “everything all worked out.”

The class focused on pet emergency preparedness and checking a dog’s ears, eyes, nose, paws and coat for any signs of health problems.

“It is a great way to bond with your pet,” Ahart said.

More information about the Mid-Atlantic Great Dane Rescue League can be found at

Staff writer Elisa Glushefski can be reached at (703) 878-8062.

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