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      Kozmoe the dog gets care: Shamrock Animal Fund

      Kozmoe the 7 year old Malta-poo wags his tail and begs for treats from the seniors who live in a Chittenango apartment complex. The residents call him their mascot. "He means everything," said Kozmoe's owner Caroline Niles. "He's a kid. He's our kid."

      In June, Kozmoe wasn't feeling well. Caroline and David Niles noticed he wasn't eating or drinking. They knew he needed to visit the veterinarian, but they didn't have the money to pay for any extensive treatment. Caroline heard about the Shamrock Animal Fund on television, in the newspaper and from a friend. She contacted Shamrock Animal Fund president Jamie Pomilio-Mulcahy and asked for help.

      Pomilio-Mulcahy then started searching for a veterinarian who would be examine Kozmoe and being able to do any dental work to fix the suspected problem. The Fairmount Animal Hospital came forward and said they would be willing to work with the Niles' and The Shamrock Animal Fund to help Kozmoe.

      Upon initial examination Dr. Suzanne Behrens Losito discovered the source of Kozmoe's illness. "He had a terrible infection in his mouth," said Dr. Losito. "Bacteria in the mouth can go in the blood stream and that can cause infection in the kidneys, the liver and the heart valves." Treatment was needed so Kozmoe could return to a reasonable quality of life.

      The Fairmount Animal Hospital agreed to let the Niles' pay part of the bill over several months. The Shamrock Animal Fund paid for the initial exam, and Fairmount and Dr. Losito graciously discounted their service. Each side of the triangle of help, that is part of the Fund's philosophy, did its part.

      Dr. Losito had confidence the dental surgery would have a positive outcome. She said, "I think he'll feel so much better and feel more like a puppy. It makes it all worthwhile."

      About one week later Dr. Losito spent several hours performing surgery on Kozmoe while he was under anesthesia. Monitors beeped in the work area of the veterinary clinic. A veterinary technician assisted. Dr. Losito pointed out the decay in Kozmoe's mouth, the infection in the gumline and the teeth that were loose at the roots. She scraped calculus, extracted several teeth and cleaned under the gums.

      By late morning Kozmoe was recovering with a course of antibiotics and pain medication. He returned home that evening.

      Three weeks later Kozmoe was indeed feeling like a puppy again. He returned to his role as mascot at the senior apartments in Chittenango. David Niles credits The Shamrock Animal Fund for getting Kozmoe the care he needed. Niles said the work of the fund saved "his life, his life. If he hadn't been taken care of. I don't think he'd been with us much longer."

      While sipping coffee and sharing doughnuts with her neighbors Caroline Niles attributed Kozmoe's return to health to the Shamrock Animal Fund connecting them with the right veterinary hospital, but she also appreciates the continued follow up. She said, "they have kept in contact. They're worried about him which is very nice."

      Caroline and David Niles have already started giving back to the Shamrock Animal Fund. They collected their coffee and doughnut money this week and donated the $15 to help other animals in the future.

      The Shamrock Animal Fund is a not for profit corporation founded by WSTM/WSTQ Anchor/Managing Editor Matt Mulcahy and his wife Jamie Pomilio-Mulcahy. It accepts donations year round. It is still in the early stages of organizing. You can go to or call 315-415-8563 to donate or get more information.