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Mutt-i-grees in the Library

Mutt-i-grees® in the Library is an exciting initiative that builds on children’s affinity for animals and highlights the unique characteristics and desirability of shelter pets – Mutt-i-grees – to teach essential social and emotional skills. It is an extension of the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, and aims to enhance children’s self- and social-awareness, relationship skills, and ability to make ethical decisions that benefit people, animals, and the environment through the teaching of empathy and related social and emotional skills.

Mutt-i-grees in the Library provides librarians with activity plans, strategies, and materials to actively engage children and teens using activities, crafts, stories, and books about shelter animals. Middle Country Public Library (Centereach, NY), founder of Family Place Libraries™, is the national pilot site for Mutt-i-grees in the Library.


A unique program that bridges social-emotional learning and humane education, Mutt-i-grees in the Library was developed by North Shore Animal League America – the world’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization – in collaboration with Yale University’s School of the 21st Century. Since 2009, we have worked together to create Mutt-i-grees educational initiatives for schools, libraries, afterschool programs, and animal shelters. More than 550 libraries in 40+ states and Canada are currently participating.


Mutt-i-grees in the Library is an evidence-based program that is guided by the research on social-emotional learning and human-animal interaction. It teaches empathy and compassion, encourages discussion and reflection, and emphasizes literacy development and vocabulary. Our approach is a focus on the whole child, so Mutt-i-grees lessons and activities are intended to benefit children’s physical, cognitive, and social-emotional health.


Each Mutt-i-grees in the Library kit includes:

  • Mutt-i-grees plush dog puppet
  • Comprehensive activity plans
  • Posters


Librarians may select from a range of different activities and ideas that are easily integrated into existing library programming. Live animals are not necessary for successful implementation! Included in each kit are the following:

  • Service learning ideas for children and teens
  • Bibliography of recommended books about shelter animals
  • Ideas for contests, clubs, summer reading challenges, and special events that raise awareness of shelter animals
  • Suggestions for hands-on activities, including crafts and yoga
  • Opportunities for family involvement, community connections, and school-library collaboration


  • Actively engage children, teens, and families with fun, interactive programming that stimulates a lifelong love of learning
  • Increase circulation and library patronage
  • Highlight the public library’s importance as a community center
  • Encourage compassion and empathy in your staff and patrons
  • Increase awareness and desirability of shelter pets
  • Establish a common language in your community

If you are interested in participating in the Mutt-i-grees in the Library initiative, you may order a complimentary kit here. Please contact Kay Hammerson at (516) 459-6628 or [email protected] with any questions or for more information.