Residents of Glen Cove may have had a rough day on Monday with the wet weather, but there were a few people who were all smiles. The actor and comedian Ray Romano was spotted with his family in front of an abandoned Payless store on Forest Avenue, where he and his family met with representatives from Ruff House Rescue, a nonprofit organization that saves homeless animals.
Romano’s older brother, Rich Romano, adopted a dog from Ruff House Rescue last Christmas. “It means something special to adopt a dog that might be in danger,” said Rich, who grew up with several pets.
Rich, who lives in Mount Sinai, added that when he was younger, his dogs were his best friends. “You go through your teenage years, you have rough days, girls break up with you,” Rich said, “but I’ve always had my dog by my side.”
Ray Romano, who has three dogs at his home in Los Angeles, said that dogs have always been a big part of his life, too. When his brother told him about Ruff House, he didn’t hesitate to show his support.
“I try to help out for a lot of causes, and some are very close to the heart,” Ray said. “Anything I can do to get the word out for a great cause like this, I’m happy to do that.”
When he was growing up, Ray said, he was unaware of shelters where animals are killed because of overcrowding. Saving a dog’s life, he said, is a worthy cause for potential pet owners.
“The dogs are beautiful and friendly, so if you have a home and you’re looking for a dog, why not save a dog’s life?” he said.
Melissa Savitt, Ruff House’s assistant director, said it was wonderful to see a celebrity like Romano meeting with members of the organization to support a meaningful cause. “It’s great for us, because everyone who knows Ray will now know Ruff House,” Savitt said. “Everyone loves Raymond, and now everyone loves Ruff House.”
For the past eight years, Ruff House, based in Freeport, has helped save pets on Long Island and supported pet owners who adopt from the organization. Its director, Diane Rose, said she would like to see changes in the way people acquire pets.
“There’s so many beautiful dogs that are available for adoption, but people are still buying from breeders,” Rose said. “We want people to know that there are so many rescues and shelters that you don’t have to buy pets anymore.”
Rich Romano agreed, saying that he appreciates those who are committed to rescuing animals. “It’s so nice to see these people donate all of their time for these poor dogs,” he said. “Animals are God’s creatures, so you have to take care of them.”
For information on adopting a pet from Ruff House, or volunteering, go to www.ruffhouserescue.org.