Chance Christmas

Chance Christmas plays with a Lamb Chop toy given to him by Sherri Christopher of Guardians of the Green Mile rescue, which is planning a fundraiser Saturday in South Haven.

PORTAGE — When you celebrate St. Patrick’s Day this year, you can also bring a little luck into the lives of homeless animals.

Portage-based pet rescue Guardians of the Green Mile is hosting a St. Pawtrick’s Day corned beef and cabbage dinner from 5 to 11 p.m. Saturday to benefit the dogs they rescue.

The event, at American Legion Post 502, 429 W. County Road 750 North, in South Haven, will feature $10 dinners. Children 5 and under are free. There also will be a vegetarian dinner option, a silent auction, D.J. music, a bake sale and door prizes.

Founded by Sherri Christopher in April 2013, GOTGM has saved more than 300 dogs from euthanasia by rescuing them from shelters, including Chicago Animal Care and Control and Indianapolis Animal Care and Control.

Guardians of the Green Mile seeks out the dogs with the worst luck, then, in coordination with local shelter directors, rescue members “pull” the animal from the shelter and takes it on its “freedom ride” to a new foster home.

Once sprung from the shelter, the dog is immediately provided veterinary care and spayed or neutered, and then lives in a foster home until a permanent home is found.

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Christopher said about 75 percent of rescued dogs are from CACC and at least half are dogs involved in court cases, many involving dog fighting. Nearly 300 puppies have been born while the mother dog was under the care of GOTGM.

Proceeds of the St. Pawtrick’s dinner will help pay for the veterinary care of dogs like Edwin, a dog fight bait dog rescued recently from CACC, and Chance Christmas, the puppy found with his mouth taped shut in Michigan City on Christmas Day 2015.

Christopher said Chance Christmas is healing and thriving in his foster home, and plans are being made to train him to be a therapy dog.

The rescue’s name derives from the 1999 movie "The Green Mile," about death row prison guards and inmates.

“We’re watching over and rescuing the death row dogs,” said Christopher.

A paw print caressed by a feathery pair of wings is the rescue’s symbolic logo. Christopher said the feathers represent the “village” of volunteers, donors, veterinary staff members, foster families and adopters it takes to save the dogs and find them loving homes.

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