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Barktoberfest draws hundreds of pets in costumes

Freddy Garzon, 34, of Manhattan dresses Angel, a

Freddy Garzon, 34, of Manhattan dresses Angel, a 10-month-old Maltese-Yorshire mix, as a bumblebee at Barktoberfest at the Massapequa Pet Vet facility. The event raised money for three organizations — the Guide Dog Foundation, Canine Companions for Independence and the Long Island Wildlife and Animal Rescue. (Oct. 14, 2012) Credit: Andrew Kozak

Dr. Ned Horowitz has been working with animals since he was 13 years old.

Now, the 52-year-old veterinarian continues to do so as the director of the Massapequa Pet Vet medical facility and the nonprofit Long Island Wildlife and Animal Rescue.

“We medically treat wildlife,” Horowitz said. “Everything from eagles to seagulls and pigeons, dogs, cats and even raccoons we treat. One of the parks people brought in a squirrel with a piece of pipe on its head. We removed it and reintroduced him to the wild.”

Because the rescue group offers services for strays and wildlife, Horowitz is often left to finance these procedures on his own.

So on Sunday, he hosted Barktoberfest, an event to raise money for his nonprofit, the Guide Dog Foundation and Canine Companions for Independence. Through the sale of raffle tickets and donations from attendees about $1,700 was raised.

About 500 pet owners stopped by the event in the Pet Vet’s parking lot throughout the day with many of their animals clad in costumes ranging from bumblebees to Elvis.

Local vendors sold pet supplies and donated gifts for the raffles.

“It’s nice for the community and nice for the staff,” said Lori Horowitz, the veterinarian's wife. “All these companies have helped to support us; it really is a great morale booster.”

Attendees also enjoyed a dog trick show where owners barked out commands to their dogs. And pets in Halloween costumes took part in the best dressed competition.

Pam Peyton, 63, of Long Beach, attended the event with her dog, Mac, a 5-year-old mix of pit bull andYorkie. Mac donned a headless horseman costume.

“I taught him to trick-or-treat,” said Peyton. On her command, Mac carried a small pumpkin basket to Peyton as she placed a single treat in it. “The only problem is I haven’t taught him to collect them, he still goes after each one at a time.”


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