Who knows your yard best? Your dog, says Kris Kiser, president of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute. That’s why TurfMutt, in partnership with the Kentucky Humane Society, will be hosting MUTT MADNESS, its inaugural dog adoption event from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 18 in Freedom Hall.
“Part of the TurfMutt messaging is look, kids want a house with a yard because kids want a yard with a dog and so there’s a real message,” Kiser says. “The dogs know your yard best and so we want to ‘paw it forward’ and rescue some dogs.”
TurfMutt is an OPEI program that teaches students and teachers about environmental concerns and what they can do to save the planet. Through classroom materials developed through Scholastic, it has reached more than 68 million children, educators and families since 2009.
Lucky, the real-life dog behind the animated superhero, TurfMutt is a rescue himself, so Kiser wanted to showcase the good work of humane societies around the country during the show. TurfMutt and the show will also donate a $10,000 check to the Kentucky Humane Society to support their work in animal rehabilitation, rescue and adoption.
“Part of the TurfMutt program is that every dog is a TurfMutt,” Kiser says, noting the television show “Lucky Dog” that OPEI co-sponsors on CBS. On the show, a rescue dog comes into a family and experts work to make sure that the landscape is appropriate for the dog and the family.
“It’s the base programming for our industry – the underlying asset of those green managed spaces – so we really do want to push that message forward and how better to do that than by rescuing a pooch?” he says. “I’m a believer. My dogs are rescues; TurfMutt’s a rescue so it’s something I believe in and the OPEI board of directors believes in.”
The Kentucky Humane Society will manage all of the paperwork for attendees who want to bring home a new dog. Based in Louisville, the society is the state’s largest pet adoption agency and oldest animal welfare agency, established in 1884. “We are thrilled to partner with OPEI and TurfMutt to raise awareness about pet adoption,” says Robin Vincent, Kentucky Humane Society’s shelter director. “In shelters across the country, there are wonderful animals waiting for families to love them.”
And because GIE+EXPO draws thousands of attendees who drive in, Kiser says it will be easy for them to take their new friend home. “‘Paw it forward’ and give back to our host city by adopting a backyard superhero in need,” Kiser says.