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Pet expo helps find new homes for cats, dogs

Jasmine Saburro, 18, of Yaphank, hugs her dog

Jasmine Saburro, 18, of Yaphank, hugs her dog Kodi and Kodi's biological brother Bear, a 1-year-old Australian shepherd mix, during the 4th annual Dog Day Afternoon Agility Expo and Pet Fair. The two dogs were reunited after their owners discovered that the canines were separated during their adoptions a year earlier at the same fair. Now their owners share a common bond. (Sept. 8, 2012) Credit: Michael Cusanelli

Dog owners Jamie Scharfglass and Jasmine Saburro had no idea they shared a common bond until they met Saturday in Patchogue.

When Scharfglass adopted her Australian shepherd mix, Bear, last year, the 1-year old pooch had been separated from his biological brother, Kodi.

But the brothers were reunited after Scharfglass, 24, of Queens, and Saburro, 18, of Yaphank, met at the same fair where they adopted their pets a year earlier.

St. Joseph’s College in Patchogue played host to the 4th annual Dog Day Afternoon Agility Expo and Pet Fair on Saturday. The event, hosted by the Suffolk County Bar Association’s Animal Law Committee, was aimed at finding new homes for shelter animals and teaching Long Islanders about pet legislation and legal issues.

“We invite all of the rescues on Long Island to come out for the day for free to get their animals out to the public for adoption,” said Amy Chaitoff, 36, the event’s coordinator. “We’re just a bunch of lawyers who are doing this because we have a love of animals.”

Last year, more than 30 dogs and cats found new homes at the pet fair, which draws about 1,500 attendees to the college each September.

“So far it’s great,” said Lori Halpin, 49, who brought her 3-year-old Brittany spaniel, Carly, to the fair. “It helps owners and their dogs find common ground and find things they like doing together.”

The fair also featured former canine actor Myron, a greyhound who was featured in the 2006 French film “A Crime” alongside actor Harvey Keitel. Grateful Greyhounds event coordinator Iris Mosher, 64, said Myron and his twin, Fred, played the lead character’s dog in the movie.

Myron was the official representative at Saturday’s event for Grateful Greyhounds, one of more than a dozen animal shelters present at the fair.

“I like that they have a lot of dogs for adoption, and I like that they teach us the agility training,” said Maria Wissenbach, who brought her 2-year-old pit bull, Moto, to the fair.

The committee hopes that this weekend’s event will raise between $3,000 and $4,000, to help them fund future dog expos and to provide educational law seminars for pet owners.

“Dogs get homes and families from this event,” said event co-chair Amanda Roberts-Reilly, 35, of Port Jefferson Station. “This is one of the best places to bring everyone in your family. If you’re looking for another family member, you can bring one home.”

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