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Ruff House Rescue holds HalloWOOF adoption event in Rockville Centre

Diane Indelicato, 49, director of Ruff House Rescue,

Diane Indelicato, 49, director of Ruff House Rescue, plays with poodle Lamb Chop. He was one of 12 dogs up for adoption at Ruff House Rescue's HalloWOOF event at Sky Athletic Club in Rockville Centre. (Nov. 2, 2013) Credit: Chelsea Katz

Jessie was a 3-year-old Jack Russell terrier mix whose owners died, leaving him all alone.

Bateman was a 6-year-old half Jack Russell and half rat terrier from Philadelphia.

On Saturday, Jessie wore white angel wings and Bateman was dressed in bush-like leaves at the HalloWOOF adoption event in Rockville Centre.

Bateman sniffed Jessie. Jessie urinated on Bateman. It was clear to Bateman’s owners, Matt and Kristina Walsh, that Jessie was going to be Bateman's new brother.

“Bateman is pretty wild and Jessie seems pretty mellow,” Kristina Walsh, 28, of Philadelphia said. The Walshes made their trip after finding Jessie’s information on Pet Finder, a website for those seeking animal companions.

The Walshes met Jessie a few days prior, but the canines met for the first time at Ruff House Rescue’s and the Sky Athletic Club’s HalloWOOF adoption event on Saturday. Ruff Rescue House brought 12 dogs that the East Rockaway-based organization had rescued and treated for conditions such as ear infections and heartworm, in hopes of finding them new homes.

Diane Indelicato, 49, director of Ruff House Rescue, said her group was welcomed to host its event outside Sky Athletic Club by its director, who has adopted a dog from Ruff House Rescue. She said she wasn’t sure what kind of turnout to expect, but that even a few people willing to adopt would make a difference.

"We rescue hundreds of dogs here and down south,” she said. “It could take a week or three months but they all get homes.”

Employees from Petco of Oceanside and Michael Schaier, of Michael’s Pack dog training center in Mineola, were also there handing out dog treats. Some already adopted four-legged friends arrived as bumblebees, sports enthusiasts, ballerinas and trick-or-treaters.

“People say, ‘What’s wrong with them?’ ” Indelicato said. " 'Why are they in rescue?' It has nothing to do with the dog most of the time … People get sick. People die.”

Indelicato also said one of the biggest reasons dogs end up in rescue houses is because owners do not properly tag and microchip them. When owners cannot be found, the dogs have to go into rescue homes.

“I think if you’re gonna get an animal, you might as well rescue one rather than buy one,” said Maria DiPompo, 46, of Baldwin, who was dressed as the Big Bad Wolf. Her 3-year-old Chihuahua, Cupcake, was dressed as Little Red Riding Hood.

About halfway through the event, Ruff House Rescue employees had already been approached about two of the dogs. One of them was Jessie. Matt Walsh rescued Bateman before he met his wife. The two agreed that Kristina Walsh would pick out next dog.

"Bateman has a lot of energy so it would be good for him to be a brother,” she said.

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