Humane Rescue Alliance

Advocating for animal-friendly communities. Strengthening the animal-human bond.

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Adoptable dog at HRA

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Program Catalog

Humane Rescue Alliance

School and Community Programs, Special Events, and Camps

Educators understand that social and emotional proficiency is directly tied to academic achievement. What better way to encourage social and emotional competence than through promoting responsible animal care, be it taking care of a beloved companion animal, calling Animal Control to report an animal in danger, or making a case for stronger animal protection legislation. Schools are often charged with integrating character education and anti-bullying programming into their curriculum -- HRA's humane education program does that seamlessly. 

The Humane Rescue Alliance’s humane education program is currently offering virtual opportunities for youth, families, educators, and community program leaders.

To find out more about humane education opportunities at the Humane Rescue Alliance contact [email protected].

School Programs

Virtual Classroom Visits:

Classroom visits by a representative of HRA are the heart of the humane education program. Lesson plans are designed to promote kindness, compassion, and social action and are geared toward fourth, fifth, and sixth-grade students. With each visit building on the next, the intention of the elementary/middle school program is to provide youth with the tools necessary to make kind, just, and considerate choices that will benefit animals and people in their communities. HRA’s virtual learning program schedules several visits over a semester or an entire academic year. The virtual format allows for students to interact with special guests who might not otherwise be able to travel to the classroom. Participants may meet folks from HRA’s behavior and training department, field services, or medical center. Students can learn about careers in animal welfare, laws that protect animals, and how to care for companion animals.

Humane Rescue Alliance Humane Education Campers

Career Days:

Animal Control Officers (ACO’s) make exciting visitors. Students learn about the role of the ACO in the community, why officers chose their line of work, and hear about memorable cases. It’s an opportunity for students to ask questions about animal laws in the District of Columbia and meet those who help animals and people in the community. Much of field services and humane law enforcement work is education. Animal Control Officer Career Day visits are appropriate for fourth grade and up.

HRA Animal Control Officer at Humane Education Class

Shelter Tours

HRA’s on site tours are on hold however virtual visits are available:

Although we are not able to accommodate group visits at this time, educators and youth group leaders can arrange for a one-time zoom visit that includes an overview about the organization and a possible introduction to a foster or adopted animal. These programs are designed for fourth grade and above and can serve as a complement to a community helpers unit, an introduction to community service, or an enrichment activity. They can also be paired with the creation and implementation of a service learning project.

Humane Rescue Alliance Humane Education Class

Girl Scout Badges

The Humane Rescue Alliance’s programs help Girl Scouts earn two specific badges. Virtual visits can be scheduled for Brownies and Cadettes working on the Pet Badge and Animal Helpers Badge. Additionally, youth scouts exploring ways to help animals in their communities may choose to achieve their silver and gold awards by designing and implementing animal-centered projects.

Pet Badge (Brownies)
Learn how to choose the companion animal that's right for you and explore ways on how to take the best care of the companion animal living in your home.

  • Find out what care different companion animals need.
  • Keep your companion animal comfortable.
  • Help animals stay healthy and safe.
  • Make a pet feel loved.
  • Feed a pet.

Animal Helper Badge (Cadettes)

  • Explore the connection between humans and animals.
  • Find out how animals help keep people safe.  
  • Know how animals help people emotionally.

Girl Scouts may schedule a virtual visit and choose to complete a service project as part of their quest to earn their badges.

Reading at Humane Rescue Alliance Humane Education Camp


Caring Kids virtual mini-camps focus on companion animal care, social activism, and introduction to new and exciting animal topics. Veterinary medicine is always a highlight. Offerings vary slightly from year to year, but all HRA shelter camps introduce animal enthusiasts to the role of the shelter in the community, animal adoptions, and supporting animals through the efforts of HRA.

Find the perfect Companion