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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 tantamount to academic achievement. Children intrinsically care about animals. What better way to encourage social and emotional competence than through promoting kindness to animals? HRA's youth programs focus on caring for beloved companion animals, reporting animals in danger to animal control, and exploring ways to strengthen animal protection laws. Young animal enthusiasts are encouraged to become animal advocates by speaking up for those who cannot.  HRA's humane education program seamlessly weaves social-emotional learning throughout all programming and is offered in-person locally and virtually everywhere. 

"This program serves as a time for us all to come together and celebrate our animal friends while also learning practical and essential advocacy skills."  Ms. K., Middle School Teacher, Washington, D.C. 

"I learned it doesn’t take long for animals to repopulate. So you should spay or neuter animals. Prior to this program I didn’t pay attention to animals, but now I protect animals in danger." Marcus, 5th grade student, Washington, D.C.

To learn more about scheduling humane education programs, contact [email protected].

School Programs

Classroom visits by a representative of HRA are the heart of the humane education program. Lesson plans designed to promote kindness, compassion, and social action 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.

Virtual Classroom Visits:

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, including animals! Kittens, puppies, guinea pigs, and bunnies temporarily residing in HRA's foster homes are often front and center on computer screens. Students learn about careers in animal welfare, laws that protect animals, and how to care for and advocate for companion animals.


Classroom visits:

Teachers in Washington, D.C. may schedule in-person classroom visits that encourage students to advocate for animals. The series of three or more 45-minute visits include brainstorming sessions, simulations, group work, and other opportunities to strategize ways in which to create a better world for all living beings.  

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

Virtual Career Explorations

Career Explorations, created especially for high school students interested in veterinary medicine and other veterinary careers, enable students to hear from experts in the field. Veterinarians and veterinary technicians share their educational journeys, career paths, and professional experiences. This is a chance for students, in grades 9-12, to hear first-hand how practitioners prepared for vet school, mastered vet school, and chose their post-graduation careers.


Girl Scout Badges and HRA's very own ADOPT Patch

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, 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 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)

Examine the many ways that people and animals help one another.  

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

HRA's ADOPT Patch (Girl Scouts of all ages)

Girl Scouts can help HRA find homes for pets by understanding the important role the animal shelter plays in the community.  Daisies, Brownies, Juniors, and Cadettes can promote animal adoptions by participating in the ADOPT a Shelter Animal patch program!  Information on how to earn the ADOPT Patch can be found here.

Girl Scout troops may schedule a virtual visit as part of their quest to earn their badges and HRA's ADOPT patch.

Reading at Humane Rescue Alliance Humane Education Camp


HRA is available to visit summer camps virtually. Campers will learn how to advocate for animals and meet an animal currently in foster care. It is lots of fun for campers to see kittens, guinea pigs, and other animals on a big screen.

For more information, or to schedule an education program, contact [email protected].

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