2011-06-08 / Columnists

Pets, Pets, Pets

They say 50th anniversaries are golden. If so, Dr. Mitch Kornet came up with a 24 karat gold way to commemorate his animal hospital reaching the half century mark. The event called “Be Kind to Animals Day” highlights the importance of the human/animal bond.

To celebrate its 50th anniversary, Mid Island Animal Hospital, 264 W. Old County Rd. in Hicksville will host “Be Kind to Animals Day” on June 18, 2011. Pet owners from Long Island are invited to visit the office from 1 to 4 p.m. and choose an animal charity they would like to support. Mid Island Animal Hospital will make a donation in honor or in memory of their pets.

Representatives and volunteers from Canine Companions for Independence, the Guide Dog Foundation, America’s VetDogs, Last Hope Animal Rescue, Long Island Greyhound Transfer (L.I.G.H.T.), Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine and the Cornell Feline Health Center will be on hand to talk about their missions. Over $10,000 will be divided among the organizations.

LOST! LOST! Fifty years is a milestone in any business, and Mitchell Kornet, D.V.M., director of Mid Island Animal Hospital since 1983, said that he wanted to honor the owners and pets that have supported Mid Island Animal Hospital over the years. He and his staff started planning the celebration three years ago. The organizations chosen to participate profoundly affect animals and their owners through service, adoption, care and research. Each group has an impact on the special relationship between people and pets.

Service dogs and their handlers will be featured, as will animals for adoption. Throughout the event, each organization will have a station and reps available to answer questions about their missions. After visiting each station, pet owners will then choose the organizations that they would like Mid Island Animal Hospital (www.midislandvet.net) to support. Think American Idol. Refreshments will be served.

Below is a capsule description of each invited group:

*Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) provides highly trained assistance dogs for children and adults with disabilities, free of charge. Many of these assistance dogs are paired with war veterans.

CCI has five regional centers across the U.S. In 2008, the NE center moved from SUNY Farmingdale to a beautiful breeding/training campus in Medford. Since 1989, the NE has placed 546 CCI dogs.

* For 65 years the Guide Dog Foundation (GDF) of Smithtown has been placing guide dogs free of charge to blind people from around the world who seek enhanced mobility and independence. More recently the GDF has expanded training. Their VetDogs program was created so that America’s veterans would have their own K-9 corps and a chance to live with dignity and self-reliance again. These dogs provide support to heal both physical and emotional wounds.

*Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine in Ithaca, established in 1894, is an international leader in advancing animal and human health through education, research and public service. The Baker Institute is a premier research facility for the study of infectious disease and genetics, whereas the Sprecher Institute for Comparative Cancer Research seeks to control cancer in all species. More than 5,000 veterinarians, including Dr. Kornet, have graduated from Cornell.

*The Cornell Feline Health Center is an independently funded facet of the university dedicated to improving the health and well-being of cats everywhere by finding ways to prevent and cure diseases, educating veterinarians and owners, and aiding doctors when new or unknown diseases occur. The Center’s beloved director Dr. Jim Richards was in the midst of a national awareness campaign about feline heartworm when he died in a motorcycle accident in 2007.

*Long Island Greyhound Transfer (LIGHT) is an all-volunteer group dedicated to finding responsible, loving homes for ex-racing Greyhounds. Dr. Kornet’s late Grey “Ferrous” came from LIGHT. Since 1995 LIGHT has placed 1400 Greyhounds. Previously, many were transported from tracks in New England. But now that dog racing is illegal there, most come from Florida. There is concern that Florida is about to ban pari-mutuels at tracks. If so, 8,000 dogs could flood Greyhound rescue ranks simultaneously.

*Over the past 30 years all-volunteer Last Hope Animal Rescue has had a multi-faceted mission to rescue needy animals from town shelters (and cats from various situations) as well as offer community outreach and reduce pet overpopulation with Fix-A-Feral subsidies and free feral Trap/Neuter/ Release clinics. Last Hope works with town shelters to transform the public’s image of a “pound” animal and hosted our area’s first “Pit Bull Predicament” conference. Last Saturday, Last Hope held the grand opening of a new adoption center in Wantagh.

“I am never on time. I always get here early,” says Dr. Kornet who became a veterinarian because of his love of animals and the challenge to make their lives better. Presently, four more doctors join him at the Mid Island full service practice which provides 24 hour nursing care to critically ill patients. After September 11th, Dr. Kornet was part of the veterinary team caring for the search and rescue dogs at Ground Zero.

The human/animal bond has its comical moments too. Dr. Kornet never loses sight of how a pet can become an extension of a person’s identity. He recalls, “Years ago a senior citizen owner brought his dog in for a check up. The dog was elderly, but was in relatively good health. The only remarkable part of my exam was that the dog was completely bald except for a tuft of hair on his tail. Many dogs with this condition have a hormone imbalance and need medication. When I mentioned this to owner he said ‘Look at me, I don’t have one hair on my head either, and I lost all of my hair one day 30 years ago.’ He then proceeded to tell me that he thinks his dog looks just fine, and he doesn’t want to change anything. I didn’t say another word about the dog’s hair.”

Be part of the Mid Island Animal Hospital 50th anniversary. Be part of “Be Kind to Animals Day”.

Go cast your vote, but, dog history buffs, remember you need to be at the Town of Babylon History Museum at 1p.m. on June 18th to listen to me babble on about Westminster Kennel Club in Babylon.

In lieu of an adoption list from Babylon Shelter, I am enlisting everyone’s help in the search for an agility-trained dog who got away from sitters in Lindenhurst while her owners were in Georgia at an agility trial. See below:


Female, Missing since 6-2-11. One year and eight months old. Black and White. 40lbs. Has a collar on! Last seen at Montauk Highway and S. Broadway in Lindenhurst heading west. SHE NEEDS MEDICATION! She is MICROCHIPPED. There is a $$ REWARD $$ being offered for her safe return.

Contact Henry at 631- 944-2625 if you have any information on Kirek.

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