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Renée Felice Smith Helps Save Animals’ Lives by Filming a Public Service Announcement for the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum

Elementary school volunteers make Mutt-i-gree puppets for the Mutt-i-gree Curriculum Public Service Announcement. From left to right: Jessi Bianco, Sophia Chong, Jennifer Larrea (teacher), Cole Sciacca, Avery Smith, Lily Ritterman-Pena, A.J. Cserenyi, Spokesperson Renée Felice Smith, and Dariel Sanchez.

There was a lot of excitement on the campus of North Shore Animal League America’s national adoption headquarters this past weekend. Renée Felice Smith of NCIS: Los Angeles lent her time and talent to co-direct and film a PSA for the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum.

Renée, a spokesperson for the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, reached out to a personal friend and advertising professional, Katy Fuoco, who also generously agreed to donate her time to produce and spearhead the production. Together, they brought on board a collaboration of volunteer creative talent including Samuel Aaron Bennett, Co-Director and Director of Photography, Haley Fulop, Creative Director and Chris Gabriel, Composer.

Also joining Renée was a cast made up of thirty five pre-kindergarten, kindergarten, elementary, middle, and high school student volunteers representing New York schools including St. Martin de Porres in Uniondale, Carrie Palmer Middle School in Port Washington, K.A. Deasy Elementary School and Landing Elementary Schools in Glen Cove, Kids by the Bunch in Glen Cove, St. Kevin School in Flushing, Our Lady of Victory in Floral Park, East Northport Middle School in East Northport, Forest Brook Elementary School in Hauppauge, McKenna Elementary School in Massapequa, Daly Elementary School in Port Washington, Holy Trinity High School in Hicksville, Ardsley Middle School and Concord Road Elementary School in Ardsley, and Edward R. Murrow High School in Midwood. Jennifer Larrea, of P.S. 20 in Flushing, also volunteered her time to depict the teacher featured. In addition to our human cast, the PSA showcases some of our best and brightest Mutt-i-grees! The PSA will bring the benefits and highlights of the Mutt-i-gree Curriculum to the attention of school administrators, teachers, parents and entire school communities.

"It was extremely rewarding to work with a group of people who are as passionate about The Mutt-i-gree's Curriculum as I am,” said Renée Felice Smith. “The crew and creatives alike donated individual talents to contribute toward the common goal: create a piece that will raise awareness about this revolutionary program and effectively introduce the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum to the world. I'm proud of the work we've done and cannot wait to share it."

Renée’s passion for children and animals was evident on the set but doesn’t end there. She recently has started developing a children’s book series based on her dog, Hugo. The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum PSA will be launching in early June.

Middle School student volunteers take a break from filming the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum PSA. Front row from left to right: Spokesperson Renée Felice Smith with Lucy the dog, Production Assistant Chris Gabriel with Lancer the Mutt-i-gree, Maya Rugile, and Noah Febres. Back row from left to right: Bryanna Thompson, Rosibel Sanchez, Ian Febres, Kimberly Mejia, Jarred Arendt, Joanna Zolli, Nick Bianco.

Elementary school students pose on the set of the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum PSA. Front row from left to right: Sydney Baiata, Sean Napolitano, and Nicholas Napolitano. Back row from left to right: Jaydon Mejia, Joseph Napolitano, Jennifer Larrea (teacher), Maya Hickey, Danielle Correia, Samantha Nobles, and Spokesperson Renée Felice Smith.

Middle school students pose to pet a Mutt-i-gree on the set of the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum PSA. Front row from left to right: Taiki Hirooka, Sydnie Ramsey, Nicole Correia, Katie Larrea, Spokesperson Renée Felice Smith, and Ariana Cserenyi with Madison the Mutt-i-gree. Back row from left to right: Production Assistant Chris Gabriel, Sofia Annunziata, Clara Ritterman-Pena, Jacob McElroy, and Kaydee Ureña.

Student Maya Rugile works on a Furbook page for the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum PSA.

Avery Smith and A.J. Cserenyi show off the Mutt-i-gree puppets they made.

Pre-K student Maya Hickey enjoys playing with a Mutt-i-gree puppet on the set of the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum PSA.

Spokesperson Renée Felice Smith directs teacher Jennifer Larrea and student Jessi Bianco in the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum PSA.
Photo credit: Lori Cannava

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