Dogs Play a Vital Role in Children’s Mental Health

PORT WASHINGTON, N.Y., Nov. 10, 2022 — North Shore Animal League America’s Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum develops a comprehensive online “playbook” explaining the benefits and implementation of the School Dog Program with a grant from the Scranton, PA based Robert H. Spitz Foundation. The course and other resources of Mutt-i-grees Curriculum help educators support mental health through social emotional learning and humane education.

The continued support by the Robert H. Spitz Foundation for North Shore Animal League America’s rescue and education endeavors is greatly appreciated as they continue to fulfill their no-kill mission to Rescue, Nurture, Adopt, and Educate. 

A grant funded the development of a second online professional education offering, Mutt-i-grees School Dog Course, available to educators through the program’s website – Building on the first course, Mutt-i-grees, An Introduction, this course dives into the best practices and protocols for the School Dog Program which integrates rescue dogs into the daily school routines.

The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum was developed in collaboration with Yale University School of the 21st Century. The program bridges humane education with social emotional learning. Now in its 13th year, more than 5,000 educational settings across the country, in Canada, and in a few European countries have utilized this innovative resource to build kindness by focusing on the plight of homeless animals. North Shore Animal League America’s no-kill mission resonates among educators, parents, and students while the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum cultivates the next generation of animal adopters, advocates, and influencers.

According to Jayne Vitale, Director of Education and Youth Programs for North Shore Animal League America, “This grant allowed us to expand our digital offerings bringing our resources to teachers, librarians, and students. We are excited to provide content on the School Dog Program in such an accessible format. Routine webinars with various subject experts, reading sessions for authors to read their books to students, and student-lead rescue discussions were also supported by the grant. We appreciate that the Robert H. Spitz Foundation shares our vision to expand humane education.”

For more information about North Shore Animal League America’s Mutt-i-grees® Curriculum, please visit: