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Huntington Animal Hospital started out in vet's home 60 years ago

Beth Winter, of Melville, and her 4-month-old shorty

Beth Winter, of Melville, and her 4-month-old shorty bull Ruxin, attend the Huntington Animal Hospital's 60th anniversary celebration. (July 21, 2012) Credit: Ursula Moore

As a veterinarian, Dr. Jeff Kramer has seen a lot – a ferret with pancreatic tumors, dogs with heart disease and cats with gastrointestinal problems.

“I have taken care of thousands of animals. I have seen everything you can imagine,” said Kramer, 58, of Huntington. “I have performed many surgeries including having to take a golf ball out of a dog, I have even taken underwear out of a dog.”

Since taking over in 1983 the Huntington Animal Hospital, which his father started in 1952, Kramer has diligently treated rabbits, hamsters, guinea pigs, ferrets, cats and dogs.

“I always knew I wanted to be a veterinarian since I was a little boy,” Kramer said. “I love being a vet because it is intellectually challenging and emotionally rewarding. I can’t imagine doing any other job in this world than being a veterinarian.”

And that is why Kramer was thrilled to celebrate animal hospital’s 60th anniversary on Saturday with an open house.

“I am psyched about this celebration,” Kramer said. “This is a chance to meet the new doctor, Dr. Rebecca Lonardo and celebrate 60 years.”

Veterinarian Dr. Becky Lonardo joined the animal hospital one month ago and already had an unforgettable experience.

“I had one dog pooping out yarn last Wednesday,” said Lonardo, of Huntington Station.

She said she’s thankful to work side by side with a veterinarian with so many years of experience.

“Dr. Kramer is great because he knows so much about animals," she said. "Any questions I have, he can answer.”

To many of Kramer’s clients, he is a lifesaver.

“He saved my dog Kuma’s life. She lived to be 15 ½ years old. She was a German shepherd and Akita mix,” said Bonnie Reich, of Huntington Station. “Kuma had lyme disease and we didn’t know. If Dr. Kramer hadn’t discovered it, she would have died.”

Peter Schapero, of Greenlawn, appreciates Kramer’s eagerness to help in any way possible.

“Dr. Kramer is the best. He’s knowledgeable, smart and caring,” said Schapero. “He is everything you would look for in a doctor. I have been coming to him for the past two and a half years with my Maltese Dewey.”

His father, Mortimer Kramer, 91, of Northport, reminisced about his years as a veterinarian which included performing a caesarean section on a goat and delivering puppies while on the way to a wedding.

“I was dressed in my tuxedo delivering the puppies,” said Mortimer Kramer. “I had to miss the wedding.”

The animal hospital started off as the Kramer’s family home and evolved into the animal hospital.

“I grew up here,” said Jeff Kramer. “We still have the red brick from my old home in the back closet.”

Kramer’s daughter Rebecca, 18, also aspires to be a veterinarian. She will attend Pennsylvania State University in the fall.

“Since I was a little girl, I always had a passion for animals,” she said. “Growing up, my dad let me hold the animals and watch his appointments.”

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