Research shows that ”vicarious pets “— books, stories, songs, videos, and visits to animal shelters — work just as well as real pets when it comes to eliciting empathy and cultivating a calm and nurturing classroom climate. Our Plush Dog Puppet is an ingenious teaching tool that gives added dimension to lessons and activities. Especially useful for young learners, the puppet has become a popular member of many Mutt-i-grees classrooms. Kids name the puppet, ”adopt” it, take turns bringing it home for the weekend. The puppet is also a powerful prompt for imagination and self-expression, leading to a deeper understanding of felines and their unique characteristics. Led by cat-loving Mutt-i-grees teachers, students have made videos about shelter cats and kittens, learned about the importance of spay/neuter, and even rescued stray cats and helped them find good homes.