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Cesar Millan, Scooby-Doo and North Shore Animal League America Join with Thousands of Dog Lovers at the Second Annual National Family Pack Walk

An Estimated Ten Thousand Pack Leaders and Their Dogs Hit Their Stride in Support of the Cesar Millan Foundation’s Mission to Help Improve the Quality of Life for Dogs Everywhere

North Shore Animal League America was proud to “walk the talk,” joining Cesar Millan, Scooby-Doo and Warner Bros. Consumer Products (WBCP) at the National Mall in Washington, D.C. for the Second Annual National Family Pack Walk on September 29, 2012.

During the Second Annual National Family Pack Walk, pack leaders Cesar Millan and Scooby-Doo, accompanied by an estimated 10,000 friends, dogs and supporters, gathered at the National Mall for the “One Million Paw March,” which promoted the rescue, rehabilitation and adoption of Mutt-i-grees®—the homeless pets that come from shelters and animal welfare groups across the country.

“The Pack Walk supports a mission that is close to my and Scooby-Doo’s heart – that is the rehabilitation and adoption of unwanted and abandoned dogs,” said Cesar Millan. “With America’s favorite canine Scooby-Doo as my partner, we will work to ensure dogs everywhere have the best quality of life.”

One of the goals of the Pack Walk was to support the establishment of humane education programs, including the Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum, an innovative educational approach developed through a collaboration of the Animal League, Yale University School of the 21st Century and the Millan Foundation.

Canines and kids—along with their parents—filled The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum Tent throughout the day, perusing books in the “Mutt-i-grees Reading Room” and creating dog-related crafts at the “Barks and Crafts” tables.

“It was great to see how excited students and their parents were when they learned about the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum,” said Dr. Matia Finn-Stevenson, the director of Yale’s School of the 21st Century and the creator of the Curriculum. “Through fun lessons and activities such as the Pack Walk, the Curriculum can leverage the natural affinity youngsters have with dogs while helping them become calm, confident and caring in their interactions with both people and animals.”

Kay Hammerson, one of the Mutt-i-grees program managers, said she was amazed at the number of families who elected to participate in arts and crafts activities and reading in the Mutt-i-grees Tent, especially since there were so many other events from which to choose.

More than 1,500 schools across the country are using the Curriculum, which is designed for students from Pre-K through high school yet is applicable to all levels. From special needs to gifted children and everywhere in between, the Curriculum features a special series of Dog Dialog lessons created by Cesar Millan that touch on subjects such as instincts and dog behaviors, feelings and staying calm and being assertive.

In addition to hosting activities at the Mutt-i-grees Tent, Animal League America was proud to have one of its Mobile Adoption Units at the National Mall for the Pack Walk. A huge highlight of the day was that many dogs were successfully adopted on-site through Animal League America’s partnership with Homeward Trails Rescue, a non-profit rescue group in the D.C. region that works toward finding homes for animals at risk of euthanasia in high-kill shelters.

“It was thrilling to watch so many wonderful Mutt-i-grees find new homes,” said Joanne Yohannan, Senior VP of Operations for Animal League America. “Our Mobile Adoption Unit was busy the entire day, welcoming a steady stream of animal lovers looking for a new best friend to join their pack!”

Yohannan, who has dedicated over 30 years of her life to making the world a better place for homeless dogs and cats, called The Pack Walk “one of the most inspiring events that I’ve been privileged to witness in my career. There were thousands of people on The Great Lawn with their beloved dogs, many of which were rescued dogs and Pit Bulls. It was a testament to the love our country has for their dogs.”

The adoptions that took place in D.C. weren’t the only ones as dog lovers around the country also joined the movement through a series of community Pack Walks, led by North Shore Animal League America shelter partners and Mutt-i-grees Curriculum partner schools. Many of these Pack Walks occurred during the weeks leading up to the National Family Pack Walk event.

“Through our Cooperative Adoption Program, we partner with shelters all across the country to help them find loving, permanent homes for the Mutt-i-grees in their care,” said Animal League America President J. John Stevenson, who addressed the crowd at the beginning of the National Family Pack Walk, alongside Cesar Millan and Karen McTier, Executive Vice President, Domestic Licensing and Worldwide Marketing for Warner Bros. Consumer Products.

“With the support of Warner Bros., Scooby-Doo, Cesar Millan and animal lovers like you, we will be able to continue our shelter programs and Mutt-i-grees Curriculum in schools across the country,” said Stevenson. “This will create a generation that understands the need of finding homes for innocent shelter animals and that adoption is not only the right choice – it is the only choice.”

 

About North Shore Animal League America: North Shore Animal League America - Home of the Mutt-i-gree® - headquartered in Port Washington, NY, is the world's largest no-kill animal rescue and adoption organization. The Animal League reaches across the country to rescue, nurture and adopt 20,000 pets into happy and loving homes each year. Over the past decade, the Animal League saved over 200,000 lives and has saved over 1,000,000 animals since its inception. To learn more about animal rescue and welfare, visit www.AnimalLeague.org.

About The Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum: The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum is an initiative of the Pet Savers Foundation, the program and policy development arm of North Shore Animal League America. For nearly two decades, The Pet Savers Foundation has been an industry leader and innovator in the field of companion animal welfare. The Pet Savers Foundation has a history of creating mission-driven, groundbreaking programs that are piloted and then adopted by shelters nationwide. The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum was developed in collaboration with the Yale University School of the 21st Century, and was graciously funded by The Cesar Millan Foundation.

About The Cesar Millan Foundation: Animal activist and world-renowned dog behaviorist Cesar Millan officially established the Cesar Millan Foundation with the mission to create and deliver community humane education programs and promote animal welfare. Since its inception in 2007, the Cesar Millan Foundation has provided grants and materials to non-profit animal organizations to support the rescue, rehabilitation, and rehoming of abused and abandoned dogs, mobilized emergency assistance through the Daddy's Emergency Animal Rescue (DEAR) Fund, and contributed critical funding and professional insight to develop The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum with The Pet Savers Foundation, in collaboration with Yale University's School of the 21st Century. For more information visit www.millanfoundation.org.

About Warner Bros. Consumer Products: Warner Bros. Consumer Products, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company, is one of the leading licensing and retail merchandising organizations in the world.

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