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Welcome to North Shore Animal League America.
For more than seven decades, we’ve been pioneers in the no-kill movement, introducing a wide range of lifesaving innovations that includes our Humane Relocation Program, Tour for Life®, SpayUSA®, Pet Adoptathon®, Seniors for Seniors, and Help Me Heal, to list just a few. Likewise, our growing fleet of Mobile Rescue & Adoption Units supports a variety of successful off-site efforts for our own companion animals as well as for those of our many national and international rescue partners.
We’ve always set the highest possible standards for these wonderful animals, because that’s what they deserve. Those standards, combined with our professionalism, compassion, and hard work have helped us save more than 1,000,000 homeless dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens since our founding in 1944.
Today our innovations have become accepted practice for rescue organizations across the country and around the world. Thanks to their powerful ripple effect, our ideas have changed the direction of animal welfare forever, making no-kill a goal and reality for many shelters — and saving countless millions of lives.
And none of this would have happened without friends like you.
Rescue. Nurture. Adopt. For years, these three words encapsulated our mission. And they still do. But now, reflecting yet another innovation, we’ve added a new word to our mission statement: Educate. This change stems from our flourishing Mutt-i-grees® Movement, a comprehensive social and educational initiative that deepens our mission and lays the social and intellectual groundwork for a no-kill future.
Besides being the world’s largest no-kill rescue and adoption organization, Animal League America is also the Home of the Mutt-i-grees. And what are Mutt-i-grees?
Simply put, Mutt-i-grees are canines and felines, mixed breed and purebred, who were adopted from shelters or rescue groups, found and adopted as strays, or rescued from owners who no longer wanted them. The term also applies to the millions of companion animals still awaiting adoption into responsible, loving homes.
When I coined the term Mutt-i-gree I wanted to convey both the joy and the seriousness that have always characterized our lifesaving work here at Animal League America. I also wanted to declare that all companion animals are created equal. I hoped this new word would communicate the charm and uniqueness of all shelter pets, regardless of papers or parentage. Mutt-i-grees, by definition, are worthy, lovable, and adoptable pets who deserve a respectful, hopeful identity all their own.
We believed from the start that this new concept could only enhance our mission. And has it ever! In just a few years, the Mutt-i-grees® Movement has evolved into a three-pronged initiative, including the Mutt-i-grees® Registry, the Mutt-i-grees® Family Album, and the Mutt-i- grees® Curriculum.
Our online Mutt-i-grees® Registry issues official certificates of Mutt-i-gree authenticity. In other words, Mutt-i-grees “papers.” With just a few quick clicks of your mouse, you can acquire certified proof that your rescued pet is a one-of-a-kind Mutt-i-gree.
In the summer of 2015, we introduced the Mutt-i-grees® Family Album, an online site where adopters post photos and anecdotes about their unique canine and feline Mutt-i-grees. Hundreds of wonderful faces and stories now grace our Family Album, a place where people can reminisce about beloved pets from their pasts as well as those who share their lives today.
Both of these online opportunities are growing quickly, reinforcing a sense of purpose and community among adopters. When adopters see themselves as part of a large, influential community, we believe they become more vocal and effective supporters of both adoption and no-kill.
Our ingenious Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum is a social and emotional learning program that uses the human-animal bond to engage students and promote social and emotional competence, academic and lifetime success, and sensitivity to the plight of shelter animals.
Launched in 2010, this humane education Curriculum is now in more than 4,000 schools, libraries, afterschool programs, and animal shelters across the United States and Canada. By combining humane values with social and emotional skills, it’s quickly become a popular part of the school day for over 3,000,000 students, from Pre-K though high school — as well as their families and their communities. It also spurs youngsters to humane action, turning kids into shelter activists, volunteers, fundraisers, and influential spokespersons for pets in their communities.
Whenever I picture a no-kill tomorrow, I see humane education at the center. It’s the means by which compassion, empathy, and respect pass from generation to generation, creating a more compassionate future for pets and people alike. So it’s wholly appropriate that we amend our mission statement to reflect this exciting new facet of our work.
Rescue. Nurture. Adopt. Educate: A mission more powerful than ever!
To help supporters like you demonstrate your dedication to our no-kill mission, we recently launched another social media awareness program called Get Your Rescue On®.
I’m sure you’ve seen the gel wristbands and lapel pins that people wear to show their support for a variety of worthy causes. Well, we’ve taken this phenomenon one step further, creating a handsome, stainless steel unisex Rescue Cuff to raise public awareness of our no-kill mission, generate much-needed funds to support our work, and reinforce the spirit of commitment and community. Each cuff is just $25, a small price for such an eloquent, lifesaving statement.
Once you buy your cuff, we ask that you take a “selfie” showing both the cuff and your Mutt-i- grees and post it on social media platforms, encouraging your friends to join you.
We expect to see the flash of our stainless steel rescue cuffs glinting in the sunlight for years to come, as we continue, with your support and encouragement, to save and enrich the lives of homeless Mutt-i-grees and to help families discover the priceless companionship that these good animals selflessly give.
Yes, saving lives it’s hard, costly work, but we love it. And speaking for everyone here at North Shore Animal League America, the wagging tails and contented purrs of our wonderful Mutt-i-grees — and the happiness we see on the faces of the people fortunate enough to adopt them — make our work a true joy.
Thank you for joining us on this exciting journey. Working together, we’ll realize our vision of a world where all companion animals know the peace and pleasure of responsible, loving homes.
J. John Stevenson
President, North Shore Animal League America