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Vogel-Wetmore School of Torrington, CT Wins $1,500 Grant as a Third Prize Winner of the 3rd Annual Mutt-i-grees® "America Adopts" PSA Contest

Winning School Encourages the Adoption of Shelter Animals with Their Original Tune, “Fur Ever Friends”

PORT WASHINGTON, NY – June 19, 2013 - The Vogel-Wetmore School in Torrington, CT is the Third Prize Winner of the 1st - 5th grade division of the 3rd Annual Mutt-i-grees “America Adopts” PSA Contest. As a Third Prize Winner, the school received a $1,000 educational grant for their PSA “Fur Ever Friends.”

The PSA Contest is a nationwide initiative to raise awareness of the availability and desirability of shelter pets, otherwise known as Mutt-i-grees. Students from across the country submitted creative PSAs encouraging Americans to adopt from their local shelter or rescue group. The contest 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 School of the 21st Century in collaboration with North Shore Animal League America and funded by the Cesar Millan Foundation.

This year, students incorporated Scooby-Doo into their PSA entries as it was proudly announced to the world last year that “Scooby-Doo is a Mutt-i-gree® too!” The winners are made up of a group of 1st – 5th students from The Vogel-Wetmore School in Torrington, CT. The students’ PSA mirrored the Curriculum’s core values: fostering empathy, compassion, and responsible decision-making. Their video musically encourages the adoption of shelter animals with their original tune, “Fur Ever Friends.” “A Mutt-i-gree is a living, breathing creature who wants to feel safe, respected and loved,” says one student. Their message emphasizes the bonds of love and friendship that adoptable pets build with their humans. “Adopting a Mutt-i-gree or shelter animal is the right thing to do,” they say.

The contest was open to all accredited schools that teach children in Pre-K – 12th grades. The PSAs were judged by a panel of experts from Animal League America, Publishers Clearing House, Warner Bros. Consumer Products and The Cesar Millan Foundation. Entries were based on originality, creativity and persuasiveness. The PSA Contest is a nationwide initiative and collaboration of North Shore Animal League America, the Yale University School of the 21st Century and the Cesar Millan Foundation.

To learn more about the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum or to view all of the winning PSAs 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’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, visit

The Animal League 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

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 re-homing 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

Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

Scooby-Doo is one of the few classic properties to maintain top on-air ratings across the globe and is consistently ranked as one of the top properties in the Warner Bros. Consumer Products licensing portfolio. Scooby-Doo is the only dog with human characteristics that can live and play in a kid’s real and imaginative world. Scooby loves to solve mysteries, is hip and cool and makes ‘spooky’ fun; he truly is the dog that can Doo it all!

SCOOBY-DOO and all related characters and elements are trademarks of and © Hanna-Barbera. (s13)

Publishers Clearing House (PCH), headquartered in Port Washington, NY, is a multi-channel direct marketer of value-based merchandise, magazines and promotional offers and a leading provider of digital "play and win" entertainment. Founded in 1953 by Harold and LuEsther Mertz, PCH has come to be known as the sweepstakes company whose famous Prize Patrol surprises screaming winners on their doorsteps with oversized checks in amounts anywhere from $1,000.00 to $10,000,000.00 while TV cameras are rolling – These memorable, real-life reactions of stunned sweepstakes prize winners have entertained audiences all across America and spawned a number of good-natured skits on such TV shows as Saturday Night Live and The Tonight Show. The company has awarded over $239 Million in prizes and has evolved to greatly expand its offerings to include many ways to win online and through social media and mobile access.

At Vogel-Wetmore we seek to afford each student an education commensurate with his/her abilities, relevant to this country’s needs and challenging to a degree that will prompt a love of learning. Our school stresses academic excellence. In this there is no compromise or change. These are important years for our students. Our goal remains to provide the best possible education for each child. We have been recognized two years in a row by ConnCan for outstanding achievement.

Media Contacts:

Laraine Raia, Teacher
The Vogel-Wetmore School
860-489-2570 ext 1405
[email protected]

Devera Lynn
North Shore Animal League
[email protected]