This week on All My Children Wear Fur Coats, we had the pleasure of speaking with Jayne Vitale and Thomas Frisina of the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum, one of the programs supported by the North Shore Animal League America.

Jayne has a background in the fine arts and entertainment industry. She has worked in the educational department of the North Shore Animal League America since 2011. In her role, she creates partnerships with various organizations and develops experiential programs that promote and support the Mutt-i-grees Curriculum. She has collaborated with schools, libraries, universities, hospitals, animal shelters, and other community organizations locally and globally.

Thomas has a Bachelor of Arts degree and worked in the film and television industry before joining the North Shore Animal League America in 2019. He helped develop Mutt-i-grees curriculum programs in various organizations, including schools, libraries, summer camps, and youth groups. During the COVID-19 pandemic, he organized Zoom town hall meetings to enable students to connect and share ideas as part of the Mutt-i-grees global ambassador program.

The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum was launched in 2010. It came from the play on the word Pedigree. 

The Curriculum was developed by Yale University’s School of the 21st Century in partnership with North Shore Animal League America. Today, the versatile Curriculum is used in schools, afterschool programs, special education settings, and other venues. Additional versions are: “Mutt-i-grees in the Library,” “Cats Are Mutt-i-grees 2,” “The Shelter Guide,” and “Paws Down Tails Up,” a physical fitness application and Muttigrees At Home for parents and caretakers.

One of the goals of The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum is to provide education regarding commercial breeding facilities and the need to put an end to puppy mills. North Shore Animal League America rescues all types of animals, including those with disabilities, illnesses, and senior animals, and operates as one of the largest no-kill shelters in the world. Senior animals can be challenging to adopt, but the organization has a Senior for Seniors program to find loving homes. Another popular program is their Dogs in Schools program, where an employee of a school adopts a dog that can go to work with them each day to provide interaction and education for the children. 

“We do not discriminate. We rescue the three-legged, we rescue the one-eyed, we rescue the sick. We rescue the dogs that are pregnant… 

We are one of the largest no-kill shelters in the world.

If an animal comes to us, they’re in our care forever if they are not adopted out.” – Jayne

The story of The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum is a powerful example of how organizations can make a positive impact on animal welfare and society as a whole. They rescue, nurture, adopt, and educate, and their efforts remind us of the importance of compassion and kindness toward all living beings.

Learn more about The Mutt-i-grees Curriculum

Visit their website at to learn more about how Mutt-i-grees Curriculum works and how you can help them.Our pets are family too! To learn more about protecting your loved pets with a Pet Trust, visit

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