Teaching a child to help homeless pets in need is the first step to providing life-long lessons of compassion and community support. Our Humane Education Department serves children and adults of all ages by providing a variety of unique learning opportunities that support the bond between humans and companion animals by nurturing knowledge, compassion and respect toward all living things and spreading awareness about the prevention of cruelty to animals.
Our Humane Educators have visited thousands of children and adults in schools, camps, assisted living facilities and correctional facilities to teach them about treating animals with kindness, compassion therapy and the prevention of cruelty to animals.
Schedule a Tour or Program
We are happy to accommodate school and group tours at our Center or visits to schools or facilities to teach our program. Click here to schedule a tour of our Adoption Center or to schedule a program at your facility. Groups of up to 15 at a time can visit our Center for a 30-minute tour to see firsthand the homeless animals they are helping. If your group is over 15 people, we can split the group for an additional tour. For further information, contact Volunteer & Humane Education Coordinator Lisa Wetherby at 610-566-1370 x238. Please include potential visiting dates, age of group, size of group and primary contact.
Smarty Paws Reading Program
Kids between ages of 5-13 are invited to take part in this enrichment program for children and shelter cats. The shelter can be a stressful environment for cats. The higher the levels of stress, the more prone it is to become sick. The sound and interaction of children reading to cats is both soothing and stress-relieving for our homeless cats awaiting homes. Studies have shown that children reading to pets helps with learning disabilities because it provides them with a relaxing, stress and judgment-free outlet for them to practice their reading. In addition to providing an enriching environment for our cats, this program helps promote adoption, encourage treating animals with kindness and the importance of spaying/neutering.
Interested in having your child take part? Check out some FAQs:
- Where does this take place? The Adoption Center‘s Cat Room.
- How do we sign up to participate? The accompanying adult will need to sign a waiver – that’s it!
- When can we come in to participate in the Smarty Paws program? Monday through Friday, from 12-5PM, including any holiday that the shelter is open.
- How long can my child read to the cats? While there is no specific time limit, we do encourage our visitors to limit their reading time if there are others waiting for a chance to participate.
- I have cat allergies. Can I just send my child into the Cat Room? Unfortunately, we cannot have young children in the animal areas without adult supervision for liability reasons.
- Do we need to bring our own book? We have books here, but if your child is working on a book, he/she is welcome to bring it with him/her.
- My child has learning disabilities. Can he/she still come after his/her 14th birthday? As long as your child is comfortable participating in the program, we welcome him/her to come in.
For more information, call 610-566-1370 x238.