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Nassau County announces annual Long Island Run and Dog Walk

Charlie, from America's VetDogs, at the Old Bethpage

Charlie, from America's VetDogs, at the Old Bethpage Village Restoration on July 7, 2017. Photo Credit: Johnny Milano

Nassau County Executive Edward Mangano is encouraging people to sign up for a fundraising event later this month to benefit a group that provides guide and service dogs to veterans with disabilities, active-duty service members and first responders with disabilities.

The third annual Long Island Run and Dog Walk, benefiting America’s VetDogs, will take place July 29 at Old Bethpage Village Restoration in Bethpage.

Mangano announced the event Friday at a press conference in Old Bethpage, where he was joined by Charlie, a service dog in training who has been featured on NBC’s “Today” show.

The black lab puppy is the show’s second “puppy with a purpose” — service dogs raised by the show’s staff.

Service dogs receive 18 months of training before they are matched with disabled veterans.

America’s VetDogs officials said it costs more than $50,000 to breed, raise, train and place a single assistance dog. The organization does not charge recipients and relies on donations to keep their operation running.

“We’re excited to once again partner with Nassau County on the third annual Long Island Run and Dog Walk,” Wells Jones, CEO of America’s VetDogs, said in a statement. “Long Islanders provide amazing support for disabled veterans and their families. We’re gratified that participation in this event has more than doubled in just three short years.”

There is a 5-kilometer run for serious runners and a 2-mile leashed dog walk for serious dog walkers.

With Laura Blasey

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