Every St. Patrick’s Day is decorated with bright green shamrocks, symbols that bring to mind the luck of the Irish. For WSTM-Channel 3 newscaster Matt Mulcahy and his wife Jamie Pomilio-Mulcahy, the clover-like plants will forever be a reminder of their good fortune to have parented a spunky little dog, born on March 17, named Shamrock and cherished for nearly 19 years.
Shamrock’s name fit him perfectly as he was surely lucky to become the beloved companion of a couple that made sure he had everything a little pooch could want, including daily walks in Fayetteville with balls to chase and neighborhood kids as playmates. His charming personality inspired a devotion that lives on in a foundation named for him that will provide veterinary care for needy animals.
The Mulcahys are teaming with local vets and other supporters to administer the Shamrock Animal Fund. They will host the initial fund-raiser, titled Shamrock’s Celebration, on Saturday, March 20, starting at 6:30 p.m., at PJ’s Pub and Grill, 116 Walton St., in Armory Square.
The event will feature food and beverages and a silent auction of items including a Jim Boeheim-autographed basketball and numerous items donated by local businesses and restaurants. Tickets, costing $50 per person, are available from Matt Mulcahy before Friday, March 12. Mail him a check at WSTM, 1030 James St., Syracuse 13203.
“My wife really conceived the idea that it was very important to fill this gap for animals that may need help in getting veterinary care,” Mulcahy said. “In the last couple of years we spent a lot of time in the offices of veterinarians and made a lot of trips to Cornell. With the wide range of problems that owners of pets face, in addition to the high cost, it’s one thing to have the care available. It’s another to be able to afford to pay for it. So a lot of times, people have to make decisions they wouldn’t otherwise make, because of balancing the love for their pet versus their ability to pay the bill. They don’t have the money, but they love the pet.”
The fund is designed to serve both animals with families who can’t pay high costs and homeless or shelter pets, with referrals for assistance coming primarily from vets. “Certainly the priority would be with the animals that are in the most need,” Mulcahy explained. “We purposely named it the Shamrock Animal Fund because we want to stay open to the wide range of animals that are out there that are in need. But, having said that, certainly, the preponderance of the animals that are going to get assistance from this are going to be the ones that are most familiar to us: dogs and cats that are part of our lives and part of our homes.”
Mulcahy and his wife have applied for nonprofit status and are in the process of forming a board of directors for their organization. “Our goal would be to have the Shamrock Animal Fund as a communitywide presence,” he added, “where veterinarians are working along with us and identifying cases of need either in the animal or in whoever’s paying the bill, to work with the Shamrock Animal Fund to bring the care to where it’s needed. We’re hoping this will be something that will become a presence in veterinary offices throughout the area.”
For more information on the Shamrock Animal Fund or Shamrock’s Celebration, log onto www.shamrockanimalfund.com or call Mulcahy at 477-9451.