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St. Patrick's Day party goes to the dogs at Port Jefferson Station shelter

Jerry, a year-old brindle pit bull, is dressed

Jerry, a year-old brindle pit bull, is dressed up for the St. Pitty's Day pit bull-awareness event at Save-a-Pet Animal Rescue and Adoption Center in Port Jefferson Station on March 16, 2013. Organizers hoped the luck of the Irish would help him find a family and a new home. (Credit: Kathleen Fordyce)

Clover and Blarney stood at the entrance to Save-A-Pet Animal Rescue and Adoption Center’s parking lot Saturday afternoon in Port Jefferson Station. The gray skies couldn’t dampen their moods as they pranced at the end of their leashes, decked out in green and white leis, wagging their tails excitedly as people arrived and stopped to pet them hello.

The two abandoned pit bulls served as greeters at Save-A-Pet’s St. Pitty’s Day (instead of St. Patty’s Day) event. Featuring traditional Irish food and drinks, all prepared by volunteers, the event raised money for the shelter, offered people a chance to learn more about the pit bull breed and meet some of the dogs that are in need of a loving family and home.

“The luck of the Irish – they all need it,” said Dori Scofield, president and founder of Save-A-Pet, about the many pit bulls she has up for adoption. “We just want to find homes for these great dogs.”

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Clover and Blarney are two of four pit bulls – dubbed the “Fab Four” – recently rescued about two weeks ago after they were found abandoned in front of a Mastic home. They were left without food or water, riddled with parasites and living amongst their own feces.

While one of the four has already been adopted, Clover, Blarney and Shamrock are still looking for homes. But they aren’t the only ones. Scofield said the shelter has about 20 pit bulls that are all available for adoption.

“They are the most used and abused breed,” she said.

Lynne Schoepfer, executive director of Save-A-Pet, agreed.

“We have so many adorable pit bulls and we want people to be aware of how great they are. They are friendly, sweet and make great family dogs,” she said, adding the breed often gets a bad rap. “If people could just see this, see them, they’d have a totally different outlook.”

John Bennett, 58, of Centereach, already owns two golden retrievers but is looking to possibly add a pit bull to his clan. He came to the St. Pitty’s Day event to see how he could volunteer for the group and to meet some of the dogs.

“They have a bad reputation,” he said of pit bulls, while petting Jerry, a 1-year-old brindle pit bull who snuggled in his arms and followed him wherever he went. “I think if you can adopt one, than you are doing a good deed for the breed.”

Others such as Linda Kopp of Coram came with her 5-year-old grandson to support the work of the Save-A-Pet rescue group.

“I got three cats from here and they do such great work,” she said.

While Kopp said she can’t take in another animal, she hopes someone else can.

“I hope they all get adopted,” she said.

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