Humane Education

Over the years, humane education volunteers from Santa Fe Animal Shelter have presented to students of all ages in Santa Fe schools. By teaching children compassionate behavior toward all living creatures from an early age, they can become positive role models in their homes, schools, and communities!

The students were completely taken in by [Humane Education and Pet Outreach dog] Schubert. Even the children afraid of dogs were eager to pet him. Schubert moved around giving each student time to sink his or her hands into his fur. Tom rounded out the visit with an interactive lesson on pet care perfectly calibrated to the experience-level and conceptual abilities of our young participants. The visit was a huge success, and we look forward to having them back to meet with other classes.”

–Sarah Heartt, Salazar Elementary

“Your ability to present the facts to my classes with discernment for the age and tone of the class was truly remarkable. My kids’ responses, discussions and reflections on your presentation clearly indicated that you were able to touch the minds and the hearts of my students. My kids were able to address their own thinking, ideas and beliefs and questions in a safe environment with truly caring people! That is true learning.”

–Laurie Hansen, Capshaw Middle School

Classroom Presentations

These programs are available individually or in combination, depending on your objectives and time available. The “Shelter/Animal Care 101” presentation followed by a tour is a great combination, but if you only have time for one – no problem!

Shelter & Animal Care 101

One-hour basic presentation, including an overview of the Shelter, pet care, the adoption process, and an interactive exercise demonstrating how the needs of people are similar to those of our four-legged friends.

Community Service Classroom Projects

Many classrooms have focused their class projects on collecting and donating towels, blankets and food to the Shelter. The Shelter has also supported poster and art projects that are displayed in schools or at the Shelter. At the conclusion of a project, the Shelter presents a class certificate and a special thank you from the animals.

Shelter Tour

This is a perfect follow-up to the basic presentation. In 30-45 minutes, the students will see the lessons of the classroom presentation come to life.

Community Presentations

Whether your organization is a fellow non-profit, a fraternal organization, a church group, or something else entirely, we’re always happy to come and give a talk on the Santa Fe Animal Shelter or on any animal issue. To find out more or to schedule a talk, call 505.983.4309 ext. 1139. For information about scheduling a non-classroom tour, click here.

Get in Touch

Want to schedule a presentation or a Shelter tour for your group? Call Humane Education Coordinator Tom Alexander at 505.988.8980 or email

Pet Outreach

About Pet Outreach

Pet Outreach Dogs: A Unique Opportunity to Share Your Pet With Our Community. Every week more than 40 Pet Outreach volunteers and their pets visit hospitals, schools, colleges, libraries, nursing homes, and retirement communities in Santa Fe and the surrounding area. They also assist with Humane Education in classroom presentations and school events. The special connection between animals and people nurtured through this program is rich in teaching moments and heartwarming stories from our Pet Outreach volunteers. Pet Outreach is an AKC Recognized Therapy Dog Organization, and successful completion of the AKC Canine Good Citizen® Test is required for registering dogs in the program. To learn more about Pet Outreach and to register your pet using our online application, click here. For additional questions, please email

Reading Opportunities

Wags and Words Reading Program

For children with reading difficulties, we provide trained Pet Outreach dogs in libraries, schools, and other settings for kids to read to. The relaxed, nonjudgmental atmosphere created by the dog’s presence enables a child to improve reading skills, gain confidence, and have fun with reading. Pet Outreach is an Intermountain Therapy Animals R.E.A.D. (Reading Education Assistance Dogs®) Affiliate Program.

Shelter Stories

We also offer the ongoing opportunity for children to come read to dogs and cats at the shelter. Shelter Stories is a win-win program by giving kids a great reason to read and the animals more interaction and attention. Children wanting to participate in Shelter Stories are asked to bring a book to the shelter, Monday – Friday only, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., in our Adoption building. For more information about this opportunity, call 505.983.4309 ext. 1610.