The Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum represents a relationship between seemingly diverse organizations: The Pet Savers Foundation, Yale University School of the 21st Century (Yale 21C), and The Cesar Millan Foundation. Although at first glance the goals of these groups may seem unrelated, each has made a unique yet complementary contribution to the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum–an innovative effort to link social and emotional learning with humane education. Together they share a common goal: to develop and implement initiatives that support a more humane world populated by individuals who are capable of empathy, compassion, and responsible decision-making.
For nearly two decades, The Pet Savers Foundation has been an industry leader and innovator in the field of companion animal welfare by creating mission-driven, groundbreaking national programs that are piloted and then adopted by shelters nationwide. The Foundation is the program development arm of the North Shore Animal League America, the world's largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization. The Animal League adopts close to 20,000 animals into homes each year and has saved almost one million animals to date.
For The Pet Savers Foundation, a new course of action began with the concept of the Mutt-i-grees®–a mixed-breed dog awaiting adoption at a shelter. In 2008, the Foundation launched the American Mutt-i-grees® Club, a web-based initiative that serves to unite mixed-breed dog owners–a group of more than 25 million–to: raise awareness of the plight of shelter animals; elevate the status of mixed-breed dogs (the vast majority of shelter admissions); and increase shelter adoptions and consequently reduce euthanasia rates. Animal shelters care for six to eight million dogs and cats every year in the United States, of which approximately half are euthanized. Three out of every four shelter dogs are mixed-breed; thus adopting a Mutt-i-gree® from a shelter can help save a life, as well as impact unethical breeders whose operations contribute to the number of animals unnecessarily euthanized. The American Mutt-i-grees® Club also seeks to involve children through a Clubhouse component that teaches them about the unique qualities of shelter animals and value of pet adoption. As part of this educational mission, the Pet Savers Foundation sought the collaboration of Yale 21C.