Community Education

Our learning programs provide lessons of compassion, respect and proper care for animals to children and adults.

We offer classes to children in preschool and older, adults, and to community groups. Our community programs are free and available throughout the Denver metro area and beyond, year-round. We also offer teacher lesson plans related to humane education in the Teacher Resources area of our Resource Library.

How to register

Our community programs are free. To register and schedule a program, call us at (720) 241-7132. Leave a detailed message, including your name, organization, program desired, contact phone number and best time to reach you.

Programs

Class Description Grades Session Duration

Class

Mini-series: Animal Adventures

Description

Looking for a more comprehensive program? This multi-session program provides in-depth opportunities for students to learn about animals. This program involves a variety of topics plus an optional shelter tour during the final week. Not sure which lessons to pick? Ask for recommendations from our humane education coordinators about the best choices for your group.

Grades

K-12, Adults

Session Duration

45 minutes

Class

Shelter tour

Description

Tours are available at our Quebec Street shelter in Denver and at the Buddy Center in Castle Rock. They include a guided walk through our shelter. Tours may also include a lesson in our education center. Please note that there is no contact with animals. We can accommodate up to 30 people.

Grades

K-12, Adults

Session Duration

45 minutes

Lessons

Teachers - click here to see how our lessons align with core education standards.

Class Description Grades Session Duration

Class

DFL 101

Description

Is your school or community group interested in learning about the Dumb Friends League, which is nationally recognized as one of the top animal shelters in the nation? This class will help students understand how the Dumb Friends League fits into the animal welfare movement, in addition to how students can help the homeless pets and horses in our care. Why does our name include the word “Dumb”? Why do animals end up in shelters, and how do we help them find new homes? We’ll cover it all!

Grades

K-12, Adult

Session Duration

30 minutes

Class

R-E-S-P-E-C-T

Description

This course is designed specifically for preschool-age children and teaches students how to meet a pet by practicing some basic steps. Students discover how respecting an animal’s feelings will keep everyone safe.

Grades

Preschool

Session Duration

30 minutes

Class

Staying Safe Around Dogs

Description

Petting a dog may be fun, but is it always safe? This course teaches students how to meet a dog by practicing some basic steps. Students will learn what an animal’s body posture may be communicating about how he or she is feeling, and how respecting an animal’s feelings will keep everyone safe.

Grades

K-5

Session Duration

45 minutes

Class

Caring for Pets

Description

Pets are an important part of our families for many reasons. Students play an interactive game while discussing the needs of a family pet and learn the details of pet care so they can enjoy happy, healthy pets throughout their lives.

Grades

K-8

Session Duration

45 minutes

Class

Pets vs. Wild Animals: What’s the Difference?

Description

Here in Colorado, you can see wildlife just about anywhere you go! Participants in this class learn how to safely enjoy watching wildlife and what they can do to help wild animals living in nearby habitats. By the end of this course, students will have an understanding of the difference between wild and domesticated animals.

Grades

K-2

Session Duration

45 minutes

Class

Our Wild Neighbors

Description

Here in Colorado, we don’t have to go far to find wild animals. Many of our neighborhoods are home to wild creatures. Students will play an interactive game while learning fun facts about local wildlife and what they can do to help wild animals living in nearby habitats.

Grades

3-8

Session Duration

45 minutes

Class

Respecting the Icky, Ugly & Not so Cuddly

Description

Do only furry, cuddly animals deserve our respect? What about the slimy, scaly and not-so-cuddly creatures? Students learn how our society, their family, past experiences and the media influence our perception of animals. By the end of this course, students will understand that some of these seemingly scary animals are cool after all.

Grades

K-5

Session Duration

45 minutes

Class

Safety Around Cats

Description

Petting or playing with a cat may be fun, but is it always safe? This course teaches students how to meet a cat by practicing some basic steps. Students will learn what a cat’s body posture may be communicating and how respecting an animal’s feelings will keep everyone safe.

Grades

K-5

Session Duration

45 minutes

Class

Too Many Pets, Not Enough Homes: Overpopulation

Description

This class challenges students to discuss pet overpopulation and why it is a problem. Games are used to demonstrate how easily pet populations can get out of control—imagine taking care of two pets, then eight pets and then 32! Students learn about spaying and neutering, and why this simple surgery is a healthy, responsible choice for our pets.

Grades

K-12, Adults

Session Duration

45 minutes

Class

Click & Learn: Behavior Training for Pets

Description

Have you ever tried to teach an animal a trick? In this class, students experience what it’s like to try and understand training from the animal’s perspective, as the student becomes the one being trained. Using positive-reinforcement techniques, including rewards and a clicker, the instructor leads the class through an interactive training session.

Grades

3-12, Adults

Session Duration

45 minutes

Class

Careers in Animal Welfare

Description

Many animal-loving students think that their only career choice is to become a veterinarian, but there are many other possibilities. Students learn about the various jobs available at animal shelters and beyond, including educators, investigators, kennel technicians and groomers, to name just a few. This class teaches students about some animal-related jobs and the qualifications necessary for each of them.

Grades

6-12

Session Duration

45 minutes

Class

Understanding Pets: Why They Do What They Do

Description

What is a dog trying to tell you when he barks? What does it mean when a cat approaches you with her tail held high? In this class, students learn about cat and dog body postures and behaviors, and the messages behind them. Knowing some basic body language and common behaviors can help keep students and pets safe while fostering a greater understanding of animals.

Grades

6-12, Adults

Session Duration

45 minutes

Class

Cat Behavior 101

Description

Why do cats rub against furniture? Are cats predators or prey? This lesson explores the behavior of our lovable feline friends and discusses some of the challenges they face in our society. Students will also learn why owning a cat is actually good for your health!

Grades

6-12, Adults

Session Duration

45 minutes

Class

Pet Learning Theory

Description

How does a pet learn? Ever wonder why your dog gets excited when you pick up your car keys? In this class, participants discover why our pets behave in certain ways. Topics include classical and operant conditioning, reinforcement, and training techniques.

Grades

9-12, Adults

Session Duration

45 minutes

Class

Animal Abuse and the Violence Connection

Description

Participants learn about the cycle of abuse and the strong link between animal abuse and other violent crimes. Together, the class explores Colorado laws pertaining to animals and how animal cruelty investigators help protect animals. By the end of this class, participants will understand several strategies to help prevent animal abuse and violence, and to foster respect and compassion in their communities and schools.

Grades

9-12, Adults

Session Duration

45 minutes

Class

The Sad Truth Behind Puppy Mills

Description

How much is that doggy in the window? In this day and age, there are a number of different outlets you can turn to when you’re looking for a pet, but some options are better than others. In this class, participants discover the truth behind puppy mills and the price these dogs pay to meet the public’s demand for puppies.

Grades

9-12, Adults

Session Duration

45 minutes