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Lakeview Middle School Wins Mutt-i-grees® "America Adopts" Second Chance PSA Contest, Spreads Message That Shelter Pets Deserve Another Chance At Life

Students Work for a Great Cause, Learning and Having Fun
in the Process

PORT WASHINGTON, NY, February 4, 2013 – Lakeview Middle School of Winter Garden, FL is excited to learn that it has been chosen as one of the top three winners of the 2012-2013 Mutt-i-grees “America Adopts” Second Chance PSA Contest. Their video, which asks us to imagine what it would be like if the tables were turned and pets came to shelters to look at adoptable humans (instead of the other way around), has earned the school a $500 educational grant.

Schools nationwide started off the school year by participating in an animal life-saving competition, submitting public service announcements to the 2nd Annual Mutt-i-grees “America Adopts” PSA Contest. After the top winners of the original contest were chosen, thanks to the Mutt-i-grees “America Adopts” Second Chance PSA Contest, every school that had submitted previously had another chance to win. The top three Second Chance PSAs were chosen by popular vote, with the video that got the most plays winning.

The PSA Contest is a nationwide initiative to raise awareness of the availability and desirability of Mutt-i-grees – a term describing any dog, cat, puppy or kitten from a shelter or rescue group. It reflects the essence of the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, a unique approach to teaching children social and emotional skills as well as highlighting the individual characteristics and needs of Mutt-i-grees. The Curriculum was developed by Yale University’s School of the 21st Century, in collaboration with North Shore Animal League America, and is funded by the Cesar Millan Foundation.

Lakeview Middle School recently began using the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, which teacher Susanna Jordan says helps students to think about how they interact with one another. For example, they’ve become more careful, when telling jokes, not to accidentally hurt anyone’s feelings. She says that thanks to the Curriculum students are seeing beyond themselves, considering how they “fit in with the pack.” She also says that she’s found the Curriculum user-friendly for busy teachers. The lessons are designed to complement the work in the classroom by teaching to the whole child.

The students in Jordan’s TV production class were excited to hear about the PSA Contest. As a result, they were inspired to help homeless animals at their local shelter. In addition to making the video, they also collected food, blankets, towels and toys for an Orlando area SPCA. Brainstorming for the PSA was easy and fun because everyone wanted to talk about – and bring in photos of – their own dogs and cats. From there, storyboarding was an engaging next step. “They were so excited and so proud of the work they’ve done,” Jordan says. The school plans to use the $500 grant to invest in better production equipment.

The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum team and its partners congratulate the winners and thank all who participated. To view all of the winning videos, visit

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 the Yale School of the 21st Century in collaboration with North Shore Animal League America, and graciously funded by the Millan Foundation, the Curriculum highlights the unique characteristics and desirability of shelter dogs, known as Mutt-i-grees.

Animal activist and world-renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan officially established the Cesar Millan Foundation with the mission to create and deliver community humane education programs and promote animal welfare. Since its inception in 2007, the Cesar Millan Foundation has provided grants and materials to hundreds of non-profit animal organizations to support the rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming of abused and abandoned dogs, donated emergency assistance through the Daddy's Emergency Animal Rescue (DEAR) Fund, and contributed critical funding and professional insight to develop The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum with The Pet Savers Foundation, in collaboration with the Yale University School of the 21st Century. For more information visit

Animal League America has saved more than 1,000,000 lives. As the world’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization, we understand that a rescue isn’t complete until each animal is placed into a loving home. Our innovative programs provide education to reduce animal cruelty and advance standards in animal welfare. Our staff and volunteers work tirelessly in the pursuit of our vision of a world where all companion animals find permanent homes to end euthanasia. For more information, visit


Devera Lynn
North Shore Animal League America
Office - 516.883.7633
Mobile - 516.474.5332
[email protected]