ALEXANDRIA, Va., Aug. 26, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In honor of National Dog Day today, Lucky the TurfMutt wants to remind everyone about the importance of rescuing and adopting homeless animals. Lucky, a rescue dog himself, is now 'pawing it forward' by being the spokesdog for the TurfMutt national environmental stewardship program, which inspires thousands of children to take care of green spaces for their communities, families and pets. The program also supports animal rescue through sponsorships, such as the upcoming Fido-Friendly cross-country pet adoption tour: Get Your Licks on Route 66.
"When I adopted Lucky from the side of an Indiana highway, I saved his life. But his arrival also made my life so much better," said Kris Kiser, president and CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI). "And now Lucky has a new mission in life as TurfMutt."
The TurfMutt environmental education and stewardship program, in partnership with Scholastic, teaches children in grades K-5 to take care of the environment while learning science. Lucky also goes on periodic "tours" around the country that help people realize the importance of our green spaces.
Kiser chalks much of the program's success to Lucky. "People relate well to dogs and other pets," he explains. "After all, who knows your yard better than a dog?"
He adds, "As a long-time supporter of animal rescue, Lucky and I also encourage people to consider adopting a dog and giving it a forever home whenever possible. Then, every dog can become a TurfMutt and start 'pawing it forward.'"
The TurfMutt education program is sponsored by OPEI's Education and Research Foundation, and has reached more than 62 million kids, teachers and families with its message of 'saving the planet one yard at the time.'
This fall, a new TurfMutt essay contest also launches, where students will submit essays on how they are helping TurfMutt and the Outdoor Powers combat the environmental villains (Carbon Creep, Dust Demon, Dr. Runoff and Heat Freak). One winner will earn their school a $5,000 grant to spruce up their school grounds or install an outdoor classroom, and a teacher will be given the first-ever TurfMutt Teacher Award, earning a trip to the National Science Teachers Association annual conference in spring 2017. Watch www.TurfMutt.com for contest entry rules and deadlines.
Learn more about National Dog Day at www.nationaldogday.com.
The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) is an international trade association representing more than 100 power equipment, engine and utility vehicle manufacturers, and suppliers. OPEI is the advocacy voice of the industry, and a recognized Standards Development Organization for the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and active internationally through the International Standards Organization (ISO) and the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) in the development of safety and performance standards. OPEI is managing partner of GIE+EXPO, the industry's annual international trade show. OPEI's Education & Research Foundation is the creative force behind the environmental education program, TurfMutt.com. OPEI-Canada represents members on a host of issues, including recycling, emissions and other regulatory developments across the Canadian provinces. For more information, visit www.opei.org.
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SOURCE Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI)