Shelter raises money to help vet’s dog
Buddy is a 10-year-old red golden retriever, who recently underwent several medical treatments after a growth appeared on his leg. Almost Home Animal Rescue is working to cover his medical costs, which total over $10,000.

Courtesy photo

Shelter raises money to help vet’s dog




Almost Home Animal Rescue has stepped away from the traditional shelter model of housing animals for adoption. In addition to hosting over 500 dogs and cats, they offer a substantial outreach program to help communities in need care for their pets.

Established in 2007, Almost Home Animal Rescue is a nonprofit no-kill shelter, now located in Patchogue, that aims to find the right cat or dog for each family and supply support to families who already own animals in economically challenged areas. 

“We do go above and beyond to help out the community and that is what separates us from other shelters,” said Nancy Brown, fundraising coordinator. 

The shelter spends money raised on food, supplies, medicine, spay/neuter treatments and more. These bills add up — collecting to over $10,000 per month. Brown said their requests for help continues to grow, with calls every day.  “It’s very hard to do the things we do, but it doesn’t stop us from doing them,” she said.

John Markowitz, a retired Army veteran,  from Coram, has received help from Almost Home to care for his dog, Buddy, who recently underwent several medical procedures. Buddy, a 10-year-old red golden retriever, developed a growth on his back leg a couple of weeks ago. The growth was monitored until it broke open and bled. After some initial tests and treatments, cancer was ruled out, but it was unclear what caused the growth. The doctor ended up having to remove the infected leg when Buddy didn’t respond to initial treatments and his stitches came undone. After minimal luck, Markowitz said the vet had called him and told him to come say his goodbyes. 

But when he arrived, he ran into Linda Klampfl, president of Almost Home, who told him they were taking Buddy to Atlantic Coast Animal Hospital located in Bohemia, where he received emergency care, including a blood transfusion and IV antibiotics. Since being at Atlantic Coast, Buddy’s vitals have improved and he has begun eating well. The vet is currently working to heal the wound with a honey solution, after Buddy continued to chew, rip and eat the original bandages he was given. 

Markowitz said that Buddy’s energy is infectious, and that everyone who comes in contact with him instantly falls in love. Community members have been donating gifts like supplies and accessories for Buddy after meeting him and wanting to help. 

Markowitz adopted Buddy at 2 years old, rescuing him from an abusive home. After receiving his paperwork, Markowitz learned that he was born the day after his mother died of leukemia in 2007. 

“She sent him down to help me out,” he said. “This dog saved my life.” 

Now, as Buddy recovers from his treatments, Markowitz awaits his friend to come back home. His phone is filled with photos of Buddy sitting on the couch, playing in the snow, and even posing with a smile. He gives the credit for Buddy’s ability to receive the help he needed to Almost Home. He said he would do anything to get people to donate to the organization. 

“They should have more Almost Home places that can help you out,” he added. “They need money.”

Almost Home will partner will MoMo’s Too Sports Bar & Grill on Montauk Highway in Bayport next week to host a Dog Days of Summer event. From 1 to 4  p.m. on Saturday, July 21, visitors can enjoy a DJ, food, prizes and the chance to adopt a new furry friend. Tickets can be purchased for $20 before July 17 and $25 the day of. Tickets include a pasta dish, chicken dish, salad and a choice of draft beer, wine or soda. All proceeds from the event will benefit Almost Home. 

Almost Home Animal Rescue recently moved from their Bay Shore location to their current facility on Medford Avenue in Patchogue, which fundraising coordinator Nancy Brown says is much bigger and gives more attention to the mission of the organization. Brown is now focused on getting even more people involved.

Aside from community outreach, Almost Home has also been involved in passing new laws regarding the care and safety of animals. The organization helped to pass a Suffolk County law that prevents the tying up of dogs outdoors. They are working this year to ensure the law is being enforced.