The 5th annual Clear the Shelters, a nationwide pet adoption drive to help find homes for animals in need, is this Saturday, August 17, 2019. Lucky the TurfMutt, the spokesdog for the TurfMutt environmental stewardship and education program, is giving a “paw up” in support of this important event.
Lucky, a real-life rescue dog, knows how hard life can be for pets who have no home. More than 10 years ago, his human friend, Kris Kiser, President and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), rescued him from an Indiana roadway, gave him a home and a big job. OPEI is an international trade association representing power equipment, small engine, utility vehicle, golf car, and personal transport vehicle manufacturers and suppliers.
For more than a decade Lucky has proudly worn his superhero cape as TurfMutt, the national and award-winning spokesdog for OPEI’s environmental stewardship program for kids and their families. In addition to promoting the importance of our living landscapes, Lucky supports this weekend’s pet adoption drive with the hope that other animals will have the same chance at happily ever after that he received.
“Lucky’s mission has always been to ‘paw it forward’ whenever he gets the chance to help all dogs and especially “hard-to-place” pets in shelters across the country,” says Kris Kiser, President of the OPEI’s foundation, which is the creative force behind the TurfMutt program. “We encourage everyone to consider joining Lucky the TurfMutt this Saturday to support or adopt pets who have had a hard time finding their ‘forever homes.’”
The TurfMutt program, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, teaches students in grades K–8 to care for our living landscapes and appreciate their benefits. The program’s educational materials, available at www.TurfMutt.com, are free and support Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) standards. The TurfMutt environmental education program has reached 70 million students, teachers, and families since 2009.
TurfMutt’s focus on environmental stewardship and best practices for water use and landscape maintenance have been widely accepted among educators, youth and families as well as listed as a resource by the U.S. Department of Education’s Green Ribbon Schools, the U.S. Department of Energy, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Green Apple, the Center for Green Schools, the Outdoors Alliance for Kids, the National Energy Education Development (NEED) project, Climate Change Live, Petfinder, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
The TurfMutt Educational materials can be found on the U.S. Green Building Council’s Global Learning Lab, and Lucky the TurfMutt can be seen teaching his lessons about the value of landscaping and green space to our families and communities on CBS Saturday morning television.