Tucked into the third-to-last paragraph of the New York Times’ four-page Saturday feature on Cesar Millan — more widely-known as the National Geographic Channel’s “Dog Whisperer” — is a description of Millan’s philanthropic work and his efforts to improve the quality of pet adoption programs around the country.
“He and his wife finance numerous efforts to promote animal health. Their Shelter Stars program provides educational materials to people who adopt pets; they also sponsor a spay-and-neuter campaign and have teamed up with Yale to develop “Mutt-i-grees,” a curriculum based on Mr. Millan’s teachings. The goal is to foster empathy in young children.”
We were just as perplexed as anyone to learn that Yale’s School of the 21st Century is co-sponsoring a “Mutt-i-gree” program with the guy who talks to Chow Chow puppies on cable television. But the program is real, and it’s been around since January of this year. The objective of the initiative is to create classroom lesson plans for students to learn about adopting and caring for mixed-breed canines. “Mutt-i-gree” also has a spokesdog: Lomax from PBS.