On Saturday, June 1st, North Shore Animal League America’s Mutt-i-grees Pet Adoption Centers® collaborated with M.S. 88 and their national Mutt-i-grees ambassadors for an adoption event in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. Animal League America’s mobile unit – our “shelter on wheels,” was onsite and full of puppies, dogs, cats and kittens ready to be adopted into a loving home. Five dogs and four cats (one of which was a double adoption) were able to find loving homes at the event. A majority of the day’s adopters were a part of the school community, including the first adoption by the father of a student in the Mutt-i-grees club.

The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum uses the natural affinity of the human-animal bond to cultivate social-emotional learning skills including empathy, self-confidence, teamwork and ethical decision making. This was on full display as the event was organized by the students of Middle School 88 who volunteered their time on the weekend to help raise awareness and promote adoption. MS88 Librarian, Kira Wolfe, takes the lead on implementing the curriculum at the school. The event helped to teach the students the positivity of social media, how to market a cause, and the importance of community support.

Lead by principal Aileen Mitchel and student ambassadors Theodore Yochum and Kyle Doodnauth, the students also learned about sponsorship as they connected with Nitehawk Cinemas, across from the park, to secure the location. The movie theater, sponsored the event by supplying drinks to the volunteers as well as offering free movie tickets to adopters who took home a furry friend that day.

Students raised awareness about and had people sign a petition to end puppy mills. They also solicited signatures for a petition for “Tucker’s Law” which pushes for stricter penalties for aggravated animal cruelty, resulting in longer prison terms and deter inhumane behavior towards animals.

We are so grateful for the hard work and dedication of Middle School 88 in Brooklyn! They not only hold great adoption events, but they were one of the first schools to embrace the  Mutt-i-grees school dog program where we place dogs in schools to support social emotion learning. The leadership of Principal Aileen Mitchel and dedication of librarian Kira Wolfe, continues to raise awareness for shelter pets while reinforcing critical skills that are the foundation of lifelong success.