We offer a number of interesting, educational and fun opportunities for kids to interact with animals and learn about life at an animal shelter! From exciting afternoon programs where kids get to experience animal care and handling firsthand to craft projects to support the animals at the shelter, there’s something for every child.
Is your child ready to become an Animal Adventurer? We offer monthly programs for children to learn about animals in a fun and safe environment. Each session costs $20 per child and is held from 1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m. in the PHS Classroom. Learn more about each month’s topic below!
- January 28 (ages 8-12): Do You Want to Be a Veterinarian?
- February 25 (ages 6-12): Rabbits 101
- March 25 (ages 6-12): How to Greet a Dog
- April 22 (ages 6-12): Do You Want to Be an Animal Control Officer?
- May 27 (ages 6-9): Be a Responsible Pet Guardian
- June 24 (ages 8-12): Cats 101
- July 22 (Ages 8-12): Dog Training Basics
- August 26 (Ages 8-12): Reptiles!
- September 16 (Ages 8-12): The Power of One! How Can I Help Shelter Animals?
- October 28 (Ages 8-12): Feathered Friends
- November 25 (Ages 8-12): Shelter Scavenger Hunt
- December 16 (Ages 8-12): It’s Cold Outside
Does your child love all creatures great and small? Sign them up for a hands-on introduction to working as a veterinarian or vet tech. After a tour of the shelter clinic, your child will observe a routine animal health check with a registered veterinary technician followed by a Q&A. Children will learn to detect pet health emergencies and assemble their own pet first-aid kit to take home.
February is Adopt a Shelter Rabbit Month and what better time for your child to learn all about our furry, floppy-eared friends! After a tour of the PHS Critter House, your child will help set up a rabbit play room and obstacle course for the shelter rabbits to exercise. Experienced staff will teach the children how to safely hold a rabbit and the kids will make rabbit enrichment toys for the shelter rabbits or a rabbit of their own.
Does your child love to meet dogs of all shapes and sizes? A dog trainer will help your child learn how to safely interact with dogs by teaching kids how to read dog body language, how to greet a new dog and how to safely play with your own dog at home. A pet-assisted therapy dog will be on hand for the children to put their new skills into practice. Your child will make a fun and educational poster illustrating how to greet a dog to take home.
Animal Control Officers (ACO) work in the community to ensure pets are safe and well treated in their homes. Your child will climb aboard an animal control truck and learn about the specialized compartments and tools used by our ACOs, while hearing more about the work ACOs do in the field. The children will practice using tools to humanely rescue (stuffed) animals. Children will make a pet-themed magnetic picture frame to take home.
Caring for a pet is big responsibility. A member of our behavior team, will teach your child how to provide basic care for common domestic pets, how to teach a dog to sit, and how to read different animal signals such as barking, growling, purring and tail wagging. Children will bedazzle a dog or cat collar and make a personalized ID tag to go with it.
It’s all about cats during Adopt a Shelter Cat Month! After a tour of the Neely Cat Center, your child will spend some time learning about basic cat care while hanging out with the kitties in our communal cat rooms. Our feline behaviorist will answer questions such as why cats purr and how to play with your pet cat. The children will make a cat toy which they can give to the shelter kitties or take home to their own cat.
Sit! Down! Stay! Your child will learn dog training basics. Using a positive reinforcement approach, a PHS dog trainer will teach the children how to use a dog clicker for training, how to use rewards like treats or toys to teach dogs basic commands and how to best communicate with dogs. Shelter dogs will be used to demonstrate training techniques. Your child will make an interactive dog puzzle toy to take home for their family pet or donate to a shelter dog.
From snakes to lizards, our experts at the Pasadena Humane Society will lead a tour through the Critter House followed by a Q&A session about common reptile pets and their care. Your child will meet Toby, a bearded dragon who participates in our pet-assisted therapy program. Children will assemble a 3D reptile puzzle.
Is your child looking to make a difference in the lives of shelter animals? Now’s the chance! Children will tour the shelter and learn about different ways to help. From starting a donation drive and making pet toys and blankets to fostering a pet or creating a team for the shelter’s Wiggle Waggle Walk, we’ll give your child the tools to make a difference. Children will create a kit to launch the charitable project of their choice.
Get to know the feathered friends in your neighborhood! Our wildlife expert will teach your child about domestic and wild birds. Children will learn what to do if they find a baby bird and will examine baby bird nests. Your child will make a wild bird feeder to take home to feed the birds in your backyard.
What do animals do when it’s cold outside? Some migrate, others hibernate, while our house pets stay warm inside the comfort of our homes. Your child will learn how different animals cope with winter weather. Children will visit our turtle pond where they will see how we help cold-blooded creatures stay warm even when it’s chilly. The children will make and take home an outdoor feeding wreath for local wildlife.
Spring Break and Summer Camps Available
Registration is now open for our spring Critter Camp! Critter Camp is a week-long program for animal lovers 9 to 12 years old. Campers will get hands-on with animals as they learn about dogs, cats and other critters in our shelter, as well as animal behavior, pet adoption, co-existing with wildlife and careers with animals.
- Group Dog Walks
- Cat Playtime
- Bunny runs
- Urban Wildlife Scavenger Hunt
- Craft Activities
Our Critter Camps run Monday through Friday from 9am to 3pm. The cost for each camper is $250 and includes a t-shirt, a Community Service Certificate for 30 hours, and an enrichment project for our shelter animals. Aftercare is available from 3pm to 5pm for an additional $100.
Barks & Books
Our reading enrichment program for children ages 5 to 12 makes reading fun, boosts confidence and encourages respectful, humane treatment for all animals. Not only does this make reading fun, it also builds a child’s confidence in reading aloud.
Barks and Books is currently available at 18 libraries in our service cities. No reservation necessary. View the calendar to see where we will be next in your community.
Scout & Youth Projects
The Pasadena Humane Society has a special youth project program to enable children to help our animals. Students are invited to make simple toys and treats for shelter animals. Grab our instructions and get started!
Book a Tour or Presentation
Age-appropriate presentations are available to schools, scout/youth groups and adults. Presentations can be at any facility within our service area of Altadena, Arcadia, Bradbury, Glendale, La Cañada Flintridge, La Crescenta-Montrose, Monrovia, Pasadena, San Marino, Sierra Madre and South Pasadena, including at the Pasadena Humane Society & SPCA. You can choose from a variety of subjects such as bite prevention, pet manners, how animals learn, working with animals, and animal issues. Request a presentation.