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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

Virtual Classroom Visits:

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.

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.

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 of 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 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,  working animals, and other topics sure to appeal to young animal enthusiasts.

Career explorations are seminars created especially for high school students interested in veterinary medicine and other animal-related careers. 

Find the perfect Companion