Thanks to the ingenuity from our North Country Initiative Adirondack Region Cat Adoption Center (NCI), we are excited to announce a new part of the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum that will help us save more lives — the Mutt-i-grees School Cat Foster Program. Deborah Oligny, NCI Director, has not only been busy rescuing cats and kittens, but also helping schools in the surrounding area incorporate our Mutt-i-grees Curriculum. Additionally, Deb has developed a reading program on-site at NCI that has already been a tremendous benefit for both kids and cats.

“My students are enjoying working with and socializing the animals to get them ready for adoption. We are happy to be a part of reducing pet homelessness in our own small way!”

Carter Stevens, Science Program Teacher

The very first Mutt-i-grees Cat School is WSWHE BOCES in Saratoga Springs, NY, where they have introduced the fostering of a cat or kitten as part of their Small Animal Science Program. The school’s foster cat is given a dedicated room of its own. The students care and nurture the cat each day with food, water, socialization, health checks, nail trims and lots of love. Their building and maintenance staff are responsible for checking on the cat at night and on weekends. When the cat is ready for a home, the approved adopter picks the cat up directly from the school. Having the children participate in the full-circle journey from foster to adoption is what our Mutt-i-grees Curriculum is all about. It builds humane education and service learning through the students’ experience, and they take away the lifelong critical skills of empathy and resilience. The first two Mutt-i-grees School Foster Cats were Sheldon and Sagwa, who have both already found their loving forever homes! WSWHE BOCES is now working with their third Mutt-i-grees School Foster Cat, Merrick.

Treat time for Sheldon.
School Foster Cat, Sagwa.

Along with the School Cat Foster Program, local students — ages 10-14 years old — have been taking part in a new reading program at NCI. On their scheduled days, the students come in accompanied by a guardian and visit three different cat rooms, spending 20 minutes in each. They are informed about the cats in each room and learn which are approachable, or who may be nervous. NCI is proud to report that the young readers have been extremely respectful and enjoy seeing how some of the scared cats can overcome their fear with a little patience and consistency. It’s clear the kitties love their readers! 

These cats love reading.
Cat story time with Hunter.