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For Mutt-i-grees Across the Nation, Inaugural Journey to a Better Life

North Shore Animal League America is excited to announce that the first rescue journey of the Mutt-i-grees Express is underway.  This week, more than 120 dogs and puppies make this journey from crowded municipal shelters in California and Oklahoma, where they were in danger of being euthanized.  From there, they will arrive to the safety of North Shore Animal League America, which continues its mission in ensuring that rescued animals be matched with one of the countless families and individuals in the New York City Tri-State area waiting to adopt a loving pet. 

To make this inaugural journey possible, the Animal League is working closely with both the MuttNation and Jason Debus Heigl Foundations.  The Heigl foundation, funded by actress Katherine Heigl to celebrate the memory and legacy of her brother, has been hard at work rescuing animals from Los Angeles County Municipal Shelters so that those animals might embark on their Mutt-i-grees Express journey; MuttNation, funded by popular country music stars Miranda Lambert and her husband Blake Shelton (and directed by Miranda’s mother, Bev Lambert), has been working to do the same with municipal shelters in Oklahoma.  Together, these loving animals are all passengers on the Mutt-i-grees Express’ first exciting voyage.  This inaugural journey follows last week’s launch of the Mutt-i-grees Express program, which the Animal League celebrated through the unveiling of its newest rescue vehicle, proudly bearing the Mutt-i-grees Express logo.

North Shore Animal League America has long been a leader in saving animals’ lives, with more than one million lives saved to date.  Mutt-i-grees Express is an expansion of the Animal League’s most far-reaching initiative, the humane relocation program.  This program has saved hundreds of thousands of dogs, cats, puppies and kittens since 1991, when it began transporting them from crowded municipal shelters across the nation and to the Animal League for adoption, using hi-tech vans and mobile rescue units.

The Mutt-i-grees Express is just one effort of several resulting from the initiative that grew into the Mutt-i-grees Movement -- a movement which seeks to raise awareness of the plight of shelter animals, elevate their status and reduce animal cruelty through education and innovative programs.  The Mutt-i-grees Movement includes a Curriculum for schools as well as the Mutt-i-grees Registry (where proud adopters can register their pets -- purebreds and mixed breeds alike).  An estimated 8,000,000-10,000,000 dogs, cats, puppies and kittens enter U.S. shelters annually, and tragically, over 4,000,000 of these wonderful animals are destroyed to control pet overpopulation.  Millions of lives are saved when potential pet parents make the choice to adopt a pet from a shelter or rescue group instead of purchasing a pet from a pet store, since any type of healthy and vibrant Mutt-i-gree (dog, cat, puppy or kitten – both purebreds and mixed breeds) can be found at shelters. 

North Shore Animal League America welcomes its first Mutt-i-grees Express passengers and looks forward to seeing them through to their destinations in happy and lasting new homes.