Humane Education & Camps

Humane Education | Camps | Classes | Youth Group Opportunities | Academic Community Service | Read To A Dog | Birthday Parties | Classroom Visits

At the Humane Society of Sonoma County we offer a variety of exciting youth programs that not only educate children and teens about compassion, responsibility, respect, animal related careers, and safety and care of animals, but also foster a spirit of cooperative team building, a commitment to community and the human animal bond. Each program is designed with fun, age appropriate lessons and activities that promote critical thinking, teamwork, patience and kindness towards all living things.

COVID-19 UPDATE:

Thank you so much for showing interest in our Humane Education Camps. We are currently conducting our camps with Covid-19 safety protocols in accordance with CDC guidelines.

Camps and Classes

Animal Adventure Camps!

Sold out!

Camps are sold out for this Summer. Please stay tuned for fun classes and workshops this Fall!

Grades 2nd–4th, 3rd–5th, 4th–6th
8 Sessions, June and July dates
  • Meet dogs, cats, bunnies, reptiles, pigs, goats, horses, alpacas, sheep, llamas, mini ponies, donkeys and more!
  • Enjoy many interesting and educational presentations from animal experts including a Veterinarian, Dog Behaviorist, Cat Behavior Expert, Animal Control Officer, Animal Care Technician, Foster Coordinator, Intake Coordinator, Shelter Manager and more!
  • Create enrichment items for our shelter animals, learn the skill of marketing by promoting one of our shelter animals and learn fundraising and development by making donation bins that can be placed throughout our community.
  • Enjoy our Animal Assisted Therapy Dogs!
  • Read to our awesome shelter cats!
NEW THIS YEAR! Come check out the Healdsburg Humane Society!
Grades 2nd–6th
Only 2 Sessions in July, so register soon!
  • Meet dogs, cats, reptiles and more!
  • Enjoy educational presentations from animal experts including a Registered Veterinary Technician, Cat Behavior Expert, Animal Control Officer, Animal Care Technician, Foster Coordinator, Intake Coordinator, Shelter Manager and more!
  • Create enrichment items for our shelter animals to improve their time while here, learn the skill of promotion and marketing by picking an animal to promote throughout the week and last but not least, learn fundraising and development by making donation bins that can be placed throughout our community.
  • Enjoy our Animal Assisted Therapy Dogs!
  • Read to our awesome shelter cats in the infamous ‘Kitty City’!
The Humane Society of Sonoma County and Forget Me Not Farms
Grades 3rd–6th
Only 2 Sessions, July and August dates, so register soon!
  • Get to know our alpacas, pigs, horses and over 25 other farm animals!
  • Help harvest from our amazing gardens!
  • Enjoy the fresh air and work that goes into running a farm!

Winter Day Camps (Grades 2–6)

This year we’re offering a 3-Day camp in Santa Rosa and a 1-Day camp in Healdsburg. We are enforcing strict Covid-19 protocols and are requiring that all campers wear a face mask during the entire duration of camp. In addition, we are ensuring that camp groups are small in order to abide by CDC recommendations.

Are you excited for an un-BEAR-ably good time? FELINE tired of sitting around on the computer? Looking for something a-MOO-sing to do? Then get your paws, claws and fins off of your mouse and come to the Humane Society Sonoma County Winter Camp!!

Santa Rosa 3-Day Winter Camp: In this educational camp, that is anything but BOAR-ing, you will explore many animal-related career opportunities, meet cool cats, dashing dogs, raucous reptiles, happy horses, galavanting goats, sharp sheep and many more four legged friends! Our camp offers socialization with shelter and farm animals, arts and crafts, games, and educational presentations from our amazing staff at the Sonoma County Humane Society. Learn how to communicate with cats while you read them a book, hang out with some reptiles, listen to a Veterinarian, Animal Care Technician and Animal Control Officer talk about their careers, pet and feed farm animals, watch a dog find a treat you hide and enjoy many more pawsitively wonderful activities!

Healdsburg 1-Day Winter Camp: NEW THIS YEAR! Come check out the Healdsburg Humane Society and hang out with our cats in Kitty City, hear firsthand stories from an Animal Control Officer, hold some cool reptiles, bond with our special therapy dogs and enjoy crafts and games while learning about the different careers in animal care!

2020 Winter Camp Schedules

Santa Rosa 3-day Sessions
Cost: $225.00

Healdsburg 1-day Session (3rd – 5th Grade)
Cost: $75.00

Afternoon on the Farm

Santa Rosa Campus
Grades 3rd – 5th

Dates: Wednesdays, April 7th – May 12th

Time: 3:30 – 5:00 pm

Cost: $150.00

Enjoy fresh air and hands on activities at our fun filled Afternoon on the Farm! Learn all about our wonderful assortment of farm animals while we pet, brush, feed and enjoy them! Listen to the braying donkeys, munching pigs and jumping goats! Learn how healthy food is grown and prepared and get ready to roll up your sleeves and take part in some gardening! Fun, fresh air, farm animals and gardening is what this class is all about!

Spring Session:

Details Price Qty
Afternoon on the Farm Spring/2021show details + $150.00 (USD)   Sold Out

We are enforcing strict Covid-19 protocols and are requiring that all campers wear a face mask during the entire duration of the class. In addition, we are ensuring that there are only 8 participants in each session. Children will be required to frequently wash and sanitize their hands to reduce the risk of contamination and we will also be conducting temperature checks on your child at the time of check-in.

Wait List

Due to popularity, our camps fill up quickly. You are welcome to place your name on the online wait list through the camp registration page. If a registered camper cancels, you will be notified. Due to the popularity of our camps, we ask that campers limit their enrollment to one week, to allow other campers the opportunity to attend. Both weeks have the same content.

Safety & Special Needs

We are enforcing strict Covid-19 protocols and are requiring that all campers wear a face mask during the entire duration of camp. In addition, we are ensuring that camp groups are small in order to abide by CDC recommendations. Campers will be required to frequently wash and sanitize their hands to reduce the risk of contamination. Camp staff will be providing your camper with their own supplies to use during the duration of camp and will ensure that all materials are properly sanitized each day after use. We will also be conducting temperature checks on your camper at the time of check-in.

  • Due to the nature of our business, there will be constant exposure to animals and their allergens. Our youth education programs are not recommended for children/teens with known allergies. If your children or teen has known allergies or other health concerns, a signed release from their doctor is required.
  • Camp participants are expected to participate in all physical and academic activities. For safety, campers must be able to follow directions, be respectful to fellow campers, staff and animals.
  • Special needs: Please discuss any special needs your child may have prior to registering. Due to staffing limitations, we may not be able to accommodate individuals with special needs.
  • Campers bring their own lunch and water bottle. There is no access to a microwave.

Cancellation Policy

  • Full refund 30 days prior to first day of camp.
  • 50% refund 7 days prior to first day of camp.
  • No refunds will be issued 7 days or less prior to the first day of camp.

Questions? Please contact Kathy Pecsar at (707) 577-1902 or kpecsar@humanesocietysoco.org.

Youth Volunteers

Raise funds on behalf of the Humane Society of Sonoma County

  1. Host a fundraising pizza and movie night or sleep over. Make some fun pizzas, grab your favorite animal movies and enjoy time with friends all while helping animals. Ask your guests to bring a donation for the Humane Society of Sonoma County as their contribution.
  2. Make donation containers and place them in classrooms at your school or local businesses your family frequents to collect donations then schedule a time with Kathy Pecsar, the Humane Educator, to present the raised monies.
  3. Have a school wide bake sale/lemonade stand to raise donations. Track the hours you spent on this project and have Kathy Pecsar, the Humane Educator, sign off on your project.
  4. Share your birthday – Birthday parties, holidays and other typical gift-giving occasions can become great fundraisers. Let your family and friends know that you’d prefer a donation to the Humane Society of Sonoma County this year rather than a gift.
  5. Clean out the closets and garage – Organize your own or a neighborhood garage or yard sale and donate the proceeds to the Humane Society of Sonoma County.
  6. Hold a recycle campaign at school; have students at school bring their recycled aluminum, glass, and plastics and redeem them for cash to donate to the Humane Society of Sonoma County.
  7. Is someone in your family a business owner (or know someone who is)? If so, they may consider donating a percentage of their daily sales to the Humane Society of Sonoma County. Let the customers know that a portion of their purchase is going to help animals in need.
  8. Collect new and gently used towels and blankets for bedding for the animals.
  9. Make a product to sell, such as thank you cards or other items to raise donations for the Humane Society of Sonoma County.
  10. Host a Food Drive for our Pet Pantry! The Humane Society of Sonoma County’s Pet Pantry provides pet food and supplies to people in our community so they can continue caring for their pets despite economic hardship. Providing basic necessities helps keep pets in their homes and out of the shelter. The Pet Pantry relies entirely on donations from the community.
    Download the Pet Pantry Food Drive Toolkit to learn how to host your own food drive! We’ve also got social media images to help you promote it! Here’s an Instagram image, a Facebook image, and a Facebook Header image. Questions? Call us at (707) 577-1902 x276.

Your gift gives hope to every animal at the Humane Society of Sonoma County. When you donate, you help us provide medical care, training, rehabilitation, and adoption services for animals who need us. And that makes you a true hero! If you would like to purchase items with the funds your raised we do have an Amazon.com Wishlist where you will find items we use to care for our animals on a daily basis.

Academic Community Service

We are not currently offering services to on site youth volunteers due to CDC guidelines.

Want to help the Humane Society of Sonoma County and spend time behind the scenes learning about and caring for the animals? You can participate and be a Jr. Animal Attendant during our Volunteer Service Saturdays!

You can also earn your Academic Community Service for school by participating in this program. Or if you just want to help and volunteer, this is our youth volunteer program. We’d love to have you join us!

This is a wonderful opportunity for you to become active in your community on behalf of animals! Here are some option for you to choose from;

Junior Animal Attendant (Ages 10–18) 

You can participate our Junior Animal Attendant Program (see below). Spend a Saturday helping animals and learning about responsible pet ownership while working behind the scenes at our animal shelter. Attendants will help clean cat habitats, work at the on-site farm sanctuary and spend time socializing animals. Fulfills academic community service requirements for school.

 

Time Commitment

Academic Community Service opportunities are offered one Saturday each month for 5 hours, 9am–2pm.

Cost

$50.00 per Saturday.

Pre Registration with payment is required to hold a spot. Please submit payment with application. Space is limited. 

Other Requirements: Must be between the ages of 10–18. Space in this program is limited. Interested students should be enthusiastic, have respect for animals, and be able to follow instructions. Please wear closed-toe shoes with rubber soles, long pants, and a t-shirt. Part of the day is spent outdoors and in our barn area (rain or shine) so your clothes and shoes may get dirty. Bring a lunch. Due to the nature of our business, with constant exposure to animals and their allergens, our education programs are not recommended for children/teens with known allergies. Participants are expected to be self supporting to participate in all physical and academic activities planned and/or required by department position duties. Because of staffing restrictions we may not be able to accommodate special individual needs.

Registration for Fall and Winter dates will be opening soon. Please continue to check back and we appreciate your patience as we update our system. Questions? Please contact Kathy Pecsar at (707) 542-0882 x 276 or kpecsar@humanesocietysoco.org.

Apply to be a Volunteer Junior Camp Counselor! (8th – 12th graders)

Do you love kids and animals? Are you looking for a way to give back this summer while having fun? We are looking for mature and responsible High School students to volunteer as Junior Camp Counselors for our super popular summer camps! Fill out the application, linked below, if you are a team player who is comfortable with elementary age children and a variety of animals, have excellent leadership skills, and are outgoing with great communication skills! The camps run all summer, Monday – Friday, 9am – 3pm and we’re looking for at least a three week commitment. We just have a couple of openings, so fill out the application today if you are interested!

To apply, please fill out the application.

Email any questions to Kathy Pecsar at kpecsar@humanesocietysoco.org.

Read To A Dog

We are not currently offering Read to a Dog due to CDC guidelines.

Kids of all ages, pre-readers to high school students, have the chance to spend quality time sharing the joy of books, reading and dogs.

Benefits of Reading to a Dog

  • Dogs don’t judge, laugh or criticize
  • Dogs allow children to proceed at their own pace
  • Dogs reduce anxiety and are less intimidating than peers
  • Dogs increase interest and motivation in reading
  • Dogs help students gain confidence and self esteem
  • Dogs provide companionship and friendship while learning something new
  • Dogs can help students improve decoding, vocabulary, reading fluency and comprehension skills by making reading relaxing, fun and furry!

LOCATIONS

Central Santa Rosa Library

Saturdays 11am–12pm
211 E Street, Santa Rosa
(707) 545-0831 x 538

Sebastopol Regional Library

Wednesdays 3:30–4:30pm
7140 Bodega Ave, Sebastopol
(707) 823-7691

At your School

We support elementary students in our local public schools by placing certified pet assisted therapy dog teams in classrooms to cultivate a joy of reading that improves their reading skills.

Educators interested in implementing the Read to a Dog Program in your classroom click here.

Dog owners interested in becoming a Humane Society of Sonoma County Animal Assisted Activity* volunteer for the Read to a Dog Program click here.

Dog owners interested in certifying your dog for the Read to a Dog Program click here.

*Animal Assisted Activities Dogs and their handlers must complete a (CGC) test in addition to our therapy dog screening which may include additional training and observation in the therapy setting for therapy specific behaviors. 

Youth Groups

Tours of Our Facilities

We are not currently offering tours due to CDC guidelines.

We offer Humane Education Tours to youth groups*.

Tours and educational visits are offered to schools and children/youth groups of 15 and a maximum of 30 youth with 1 adult chaperone per 5 youth. Tours include a 60–90 minutes behind the scenes look at our shelter operations, veterinary hospital, possibly a visit with a cat or dog, and a humane education lesson. Cost is $5.00 per person.

Youth tours are scheduled September through the first week in December and January through first week in May, Monday–Friday, depending on availability.

Please schedule in advance to ensure availability.

During the summer and winter break, the Humane Society of Sonoma County offers our Animal Adventure & Education Camps and Career Teen Camp for youth.

*Children must be 2nd grade or older.

Please contact Kathy Pecsar at (707) 542-0882 x 276 or kpecsar@humanesocietysoco.org to book a tour.

Youth Group Volunteer Opportunities

We are not currently offering services to on site youth volunteers due to CDC guidelines.

Are you interesting in volunteering with HSSC with your youth organization?

If you answered yes, The Humane Society of Sonoma County would love to have your group here for a youth group volunteer day! During this volunteer day, your group will spend an afternoon at the shelter and assist in our daily operations that help the shelter to run smoothly, which include cleaning the shelter animal habitats, assisting with socializing behaviorally appropriate shelter animals, and working off-site at our partner organization, Forget Me Not Farm. Youth group volunteer days are limited to 20 group members at a given time. There is no specific fee for youth group volunteer days, but we would kindly request a charitable group donation.

If you are interested in having your organization come to HSSC for a youth group volunteer day, please contact Kathy Pecsar at (707) 542-0882 x 276 or kpecsar@humanesocietysoco.org.