The results are in and we are proud to announce our winners for the Mission Mutt-i-grees initiative! Students were given the opportunity to organize activities to raise awareness for their local shelters. We selected four schools as leaders for their fabulous efforts raising awareness for homeless animals, cultivating compassion with community leaders, and earning recognition for their schools.

Thank you to all the participants for your impact to save lives of homeless animals and help get them adopted! Congratulations to the winners!

1st Place Winners

MS88 Peter Rouget School, Brooklyn, NY and
Harris Middle School, Spruce Pine, NC

What happens when two schools hundreds of miles apart have a passion for animal rescue? When a shelter in North Carolina was overcrowded and cats and dogs faced the threat of euthanasia these students took action! For their equally important roles in a recent humane relocation transport, first place is shared by two schools.

Harris Middle School in Spruce Pine, NC and MS88 in Brooklyn, NY worked together to help save shelter pets and ultimately find them forever homes. North Shore Animal League America partnered with Mitchell County Animal Rescue to transport cats and dogs from Spruce Pine, NC to Port Washington, NY. Lead by the Mutt-i-grees student national ambassadors from each school, students in Spruce Pine worked together to help prepare the animals for their long journey to the safety of the Animal League America’s campus, where students from MS88 were anxiously waiting to receive them. Upon arrival, the students helped unload the 19 cats and four dogs into our medical center where they were evaluated and prepared for adoption. Thanks to the students’ efforts, 23 lives were saved and Mitchell County Animal Rescue successfully freed up space to save 23 more lives! Together, these students saved a total of 46 lives! The next week, the students from two different worlds, Appalachia and New York City, connected via Skype to share their common goal – to raise awareness for those who have no voice.

2nd Place Winner

PS596, Bronx, NY

It is no secret that dogs are man’s best friend. Dogs help keep us active, they teach us compassion and empathy and can even help with emotional issues. It is not uncommon to see a therapy dog in public and putting dogs in the classroom to help students is becoming even more common. Our second-place prize for Mission Mutt-i-grees goes to John Siracuse, principal of PS596 in the Bronx, and National Student Ambassador, Jaydon Holloman, who went above and beyond for Mission Mutt-i-grees. Combining Jaydon’s passion for rescue and comedy, he organized a special Mutt-i-grees Curriculum Day at his school. PS596 hosted Comedian, TV personality and producer Brian Balthazar while he visited Jaydon, his class and the Mutt-i-grees School Dog Izzy to have a conversation about rescue pets. Brian learned from the students how Izzy helps them feel calm and happy. He witnessed how Izzy helps them to cultivate empathy and open up to speak about their feelings. Principal John Siracuse shared their passion for Mutt-i-grees and its positive impact on the students with hundreds of his fellow educators. Who would think to combine comedy and rescue? Jaydon did! Both he and Mr. Balthazar shared their passion for laughter as a relief to stress and anxiety. Comedy and  Izzy are a winning combination!

3rd Place Winner

Clinton Public Schools, Clinton, AR

Shelter pets need love and compassion. Most of them have been through rough times, have lost owners, or have been abandoned. Raising awareness is a necessity and could help save animals’ lives. Homeless animals rely on donations and the kindness in order to get by and find their loving forever home. Clinton Public Schools is our third-place winner, due to the impact of several projects conducted to help homeless animals. The students created a Public Service Announcement for Mission Mutt-i-grees portraying the importance of loving and nurturing shelter pets and the impact dogs can have in the classroom. In February, the students held a fundraiser successfully raising $300 for the purchase of pet food for their local shelter in addition to running a food drive that was held throughout the month. They also visited Spay and Neuter Your Pets (SNYP) to raise awareness on the importance of spay and neuter to control pet population and end euthanasia. In addition, they bathed dogs to get them ready for North Shore Animal League America’s Tour For Life community adoption event. Congratulations to Clinton students and especially their National Mutt-i-grees Student Ambassador, Durnik Schumacher.