World's Largest NO-KILL
Animal Rescue
and Adoption Organization

The Mutt-i-grees® Movement

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You can’t find it in the dictionary—not yet—but if you could, this is what it would say. MUTT-I-GREES: noun | mŭt´ • ĭ • grēz: All 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.

Welcome to North Shore Animal League America’s Mutt-i-grees® Movement, our comprehensive, three-pronged campaign designed to save lives and create a more humane future.

Beth Stern, Animal League America spokesperson, foster parent and
volunteer, talks about the mutt-i-grees movement.

Every year, six to eight million animals enter U.S. shelters. We call these vibrant, healthy, and unique individuals Mutt-i-grees®. Tragically, about half of these homeless pets are euthanized, due to lack of space, limited resources, and persistent misconceptions about shelter animals.

Still, the picture is improving. According to The New York Times, “the number of dogs and cats euthanized each year has dropped by 80 percent since the 1970s, even as the overall pet population has tripled in that time.”

As a pioneer in the no-kill movement since 1944, North Shore Animal League America is proud to have played a major role in this progress, not only helping countless dogs, cats, puppies, and kittens get another chance at the lives they deserve but also changing the public perception of shelter pets. Thanks to our marketing and publicity efforts, we’ve helped people realize that shelter pets are desirable, charming companions — and that saving a life brings profound personal satisfaction.

In fact, since our founding more than 70 years ago, we’ve placed more than one million shelter pets into responsible, loving homes where they became treasured family members. In addition, through our long list of innovative programs, including our nationwide SpayUSA® spay/neuter referral service, we’ve addressed the problems of pet overpopulation and saved the lives of millions more.

Nevertheless, there is clearly much work still to be done, which is why we’ve introduced the Mutt-i-grees Movement — and why we ask you to join us in our lifesaving mission to rescue, nurture, adopt, and educate.

Together, we can stop animal cruelty, shut down puppy mills, and put an end to pet homelessness.

RESCUE is Our Favorite Breed

If you adopted your four-legged friend, then you and your pal are already proud members of the Mutt-i-grees Movement. Now all you have to do is make it official. You’ll become part of a wonderful community of Mutt-i-grees families and in the process help us expand our mission to rescue, nurture, and adopt even more companion animals, each as precious and lovable as yours.

The Mutt-i-grees Movement consists of three related programs: the National Mutt-i-grees Rescue Registry, the Mutt-i-grees Family Album, and the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum.

  • Mutt-i-grees Rescue Registry: Visit our online Registry and send us your Mutt-i-gree’s info. In return, you’ll receive an e-mail certificate authenticating your pet as a one-of-a-kind, absolutely extraordinary Mutt-i-gree. Register today at
  • Mutt-i-grees Family Album: Reminisce about your Mutt-i-gree and tell the world what makes your buddy so special. Submit a photo and anecdote about your current pet or a pet from your past and share what it means to save a life and be the recipient of unconditional love. Read touching stories from people like you who’ve discovered the great pleasure of adopting a Mutt-i-gree. You can share your stories and photos at
  • Mutt-i-grees Curriculum: Guided by research on resiliency, social and emotional learning, and human-animal interaction, this program provides lesson plans and activities to engage students and promote social and emotional competence, academic achievement, and awareness of the need to adopt shelter pets. This fast-growing, popular program is now used in more than 4,000 schools, libraries, afterschool programs, and shelters across the country, reaching more than 3,000,000 students, their families, and their communities. To learn more about the Curriculum and how it might enrich your school system, please visit

Listen to a WCBS-FM Radio Interview about Mutt-i-grees with John Stevenson, President, North Shore Animal League America.