October 15th

The TurfMutt Foundation is celebrating the one-year anniversary of the adoption of TurfMutt’s new spokesdog, Mutt Mulligan (a.k.a. Mo-Mo). Mo-Mo was abandoned with her siblings and rescued by the Kentucky Humane Society (KHS). Kris Kiser, the TurfMutt Foundation’s President and President & CEO of the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), adopted Mo-Mo, a mixed breed pup, at the 2019 Lucky’s Mutt Madness adoption event held in partnership with KHS at GIE+EXPO, the national landscape, outdoor living and equipment exposition.

Mutt Madness adoption event at GIE+EXPO in 2019.

Mulligan tried on the cape for the first time at Mutt Madness.

Mo-Mo is a natural, and she fit right in at the TurfMutt Foundation.

“Mulligan fits right into the TurfMutt Foundation family, and she’s had quite a year growing into the paw prints left behind by the original TurfMutt, my rescue dog, Lucky,” says Kiser. “In addition to the typical puppy training, Mulligan has also learned how to take on her duties as a backyard superhero. People are starting to realize what the TurfMutt platform has been saying for the past 10 years – your family yard, parks and school yards are safe places to de-stress and to reconnect with family, friends and nature.”

Mo-Mo (left) had big paws to fill when she took over for Lucky, the original TurfMutt (right).

The TurfMutt Foundation encourages outdoor learning experiences, stewardship of our green spaces, and care for all living landscapes. By teaching about the outdoors and educating citizens about sustainability, the Foundation helps sustain a greener, healthier quality of life for this and future generations. The Foundation promotes urban habitat and ways everyone can save the world “one yard a time.” TurfMutt is a symbol of the effort, and Mulligan is the spokesdog.

A Year of Firsts: What Mulligan Has Been Up To As She Grew Into the TurfMutt Cape

Kris Kiser, TurfMutt Foundation President, teaching Mo-Mo the TurfMutt lessons.

Mulligan likes her TurfMutt Foundation office.

Mulligan learns the history of the first TurfMutt superhero in “Lucky’s Lounge” at Foundation headquarters.

Learning the Ropes at the Office
Mulligan had a busy first year learning the ropes about being a backyard superhero while also mastering basic training skills like the average pup. Time in the office, industry meetings, media appearances and video shoots were all part of her first year as spokesdog for the TurfMutt Foundation.

Mo-Mo had to learn office etiquette. (We’re still working on it.)

Mo-Mo checks in on a meeting.

Mulligan often goes to the TurfMutt Foundation office.

Getting to Know Her Backyard
Every dog’s favorite “room” is the family yard, and Mo-Mo is no exception. She loves exploring her living landscape and encourages others to do the same. Appreciating and spending time in nature – starting in our own backyards and community parks – reduces stress, improves memory, boosts heart health, and offers a host of other benefits for our minds and bodies.

Mo-Mo jumping

Mo-Mo runs through the leaves in her backyard.

Grass is good for resting.

Mulligan always takes time to smell the flowers – or the grass.

 Learning to Share with the Backyard Wildlife
Mutt Mulligan isn’t the only one who loves her family yard. It is an important part of the local ecosystem, offering food and habitat for all kinds of backyard wildlife, insects and pollinators. She’s learned to share her outdoor space.

“Okay, deer. I see you.”

“That fox is up to no good. I can feel it.”

Reminding Us to Spend Time Outdoors
One of the tasks of TurfMutt’s top dog is encouraging people to get outside, work in their living landscapes, and enjoy the benefits of being in nature. The backyard is a safe place that gives people a break from being cooped up inside. Mowing the lawn, trimming bushes, playing fetch with the dog, planting a butterfly bush or playing a game of tag with the kids are all ways to tap into the health and well-being the family yard can provide.

Mulligan knows being outdoors is good for you.

Her motto is always take time to smell the flowers—and the bees.

Putting the Right Plant in the Right Place
Throughout the year, Mulligan has been busy “helping” Kiser take care of the family yard. It is best to select plants that are native to your local climate zone and, thus, adapted to thrive in your location (for more information refer to the USDA’s Plant Hardiness Zone Map). When planting, consider location, maintenance, sunlight and water needs, as well as how the plant will support local pollinators and backyard wildlife during all four seasons.

Mo-Mo “helping” her human plant.

Sharing Resources for Families Stuck at Home
During these turbulent times, Mo-Mo reminds families about the TurfMutt resources available to them. The TurfMutt Foundation offers free, online activities and lesson plans, e-books and games designed for students in grades K-8 created with educational leader, Scholastic. The materials are designed to teach kids about the value of the outdoors, the benefits of being in nature, and to inspire them to get outside – all of which can be done at home and in the backyard.

Encouraging Families to Foster or Rescue a Pet in Need
Early in the COVID-19 lockdown, Mo-Mo “pawed it forward” by encouraging families to consider fostering or rescuing a pet in need. Meanwhile, she has been a big help to Kiser and the other TurfMutt Foundation team members as they navigate this stressful time. According to a U.K. study, people who had relationships with pets had better physical and mental well-being during the lockdown period.

Mutt Mulligan, rescue dog and TurfMutt superhero.

“It’s been a while since I had a young dog at home, but it’s rewarding,” says Kiser. “After this first year, it’s clear that Mo-Mo is ready to continue our work of encouraging families to care for and spend time in their green spaces.”

Learn More
To learn more about the TurfMutt Foundation, go to TurfMutt.com.