The things you learn when you sponsor a Halloween pet costume contest: Some people have costumes for their pets for every holiday in the calendar. Some dogs have Instagram accounts with tens of thousands of followers. Some people save money for their pet costumes by putting the dog in the outfit their kids wore when they were little. And a lot of pet owners have a fondness for dreadful puns. Like the people who put their Great Pyrenees mix in pearls and a flowered hat to portray a “Downton Abbey” character, the “Dog-wager Countess of Grantham.” Or the dog dressed up as a prizefighter, because she’s a boxer. Or the lame golden retriever who gets around on three legs dressed up as a pancake restaurant employee with an apron labeled “IHOP.” Those were just some of the approximately 300 entries we got in the second annual Star Tribune Halloween Pet Costume Contest, along with a pooch portraying Prince, a cat dressed as Abraham Lincoln and a tortoise named Sergei wearing a coonskin cap. With competition like that, it was hard for our judges to select the winners. But here’s the pick of the litter: