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Colorado Students Save Homeless Puppies And Their Mother, As A Result Of Studying The Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum

April 26, 2013 (Colorado Springs, CO) – Ms. Jennifer Steele, who teaches English as a Second Language (ESL) to K-5 at Midland International Elementary School in Colorado Springs, CO, shared a heartwarming story about the compassion and dedication that two of her students, Banessa and Jovanny, demonstrated when they discovered animals in need. Ms. Steele credits their actions, as a result of learning about empathy and compassion through the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum:

“I’ve been teaching Mutt-i-grees [Curriculum] for three weeks now and something cool happened! On the weekend of April 6th, Banessa Aviles and Jovanny Perez found two puppies and their mother in a plastic bag at a store in their neighborhood. They took action to help the dogs, giving them water and some ham. The mother ran away. They tried to catch her but couldn’t, so they put up signs with a phone number for people to call if they saw her. They found homes for the two puppies with people in the neighborhood, and a few days ago someone called because they had found the mother. She now has a home in the neighborhood, too! I am so inspired by Banessa and Jovanny. They cared enough to help those dogs, and they knew what to do! The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum that the ESL students are studying is having positive results in the community thanks to students like Banessa and Jovanny.”

Response from children’s mothers was pure delight:

Modesda Casdaneda exclaims, “I am so happy, Banessa loves animals. She handles them so well and to see her rescue these animals just makes me feel so good. What she is studying in school gives her confidence. It’s a good story for anyone to read, showing that kids can do a lot to help out and care for animals.”

MaDel Rosario adds, “We are very excited. The teacher helped us place notices in our area. We are very happy to find homes for the animals. We are proud to hear what they are learning in school and it is helping them grow in their everyday life.”

These two caring youngsters are making a difference in the lives of these precious puppies and their mother. Banessa and Jovanny are real-life examples of how the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum teaches students the importance not only of feeling compassion, but taking action.

Congratulations to these two dog heroes, and to Ms. Steele for sharing their wonderful tale! To learn more or to order the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, visit

About The Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum
The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum is an innovative program that builds on the affinity between children and animals, providing a unique context to teach compassion, empathy and social responsibility. Developed by Yale University School of the 21st Century in collaboration with North Shore Animal League America’s Pet Savers Foundation, and funded by the Cesar Millan Foundation, the Curriculum highlights the unique characteristics and desirability of shelter dogs, known as Mutt-i-grees. To learn more or to order the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, visit

Media Contact:
Devera Lynn
[email protected]