Youth looking to give back are welcome to partner with Animal Friends and make an impact in our community. Whether you are a scout troop, an after-school club or any young individual or small group (including those celebrating a birthday with donations in lieu of gifts!) your effort as Humane Helpers will go a long way. Teens interested in fundraising, supply drives or volunteering can make a big difference in the lives of animals and their caregivers, too!
Humane Helpers complete projects off-site, with the option of visiting Animal Friends in person for a donation drop-off and self-guided Empathy-Walk tour of the Adoption Floor. Follow the steps below to become an official Animal Friends Humane Helper!
MAKE AN IMPACT! You can help Animal Friends in many different ways. Choose one or more ideas from the options below and keep reading …
- COLLECT needed supplies or funds for Animal Friends.
- MAKE enrichment toys for our shelter residents.
- DISTRIBUTE issues of Petsburgh Magazine in your community.
MAKE A PLAN! Do you want to learn more about what Animal Friends does? Read the “Kindness Corner” on the last two pages of Petsburgh Magazine, then choose your project.
- Host a school or community supply drive!
- If you are collecting supplies, use your art skills to design a supply-drive flyer to share. Find our Wish List here. Please note that we do not accept homemade treats.
- If collecting money is the way you go, you may raise funds from family and friends and drop off a check. Some Humane Helpers sell handmade art, jewelry or even lemonade and donate the proceeds to Animal Friends. For every $100 raised, your group can have the opportunity to name a shelter resident!
- Make gifts for animals following the directions below!
- Make sniffing mats for dogs.
- Craft toys for cats.
- Enrich rabbits’ lives.
- Spread the word about Animal Friends in your community!
- Pick up a bundle of Petsburgh Magazine, which is published four times each year, from our lobby during regular business hours.
- Ask for permission from your local veterinarian, groomer, library or other business and leave magazines for their customers to enjoy.
- Host a school or community supply drive!
GET IT DONE! If you need support or guidance as you work on your Humane Helper project, email HumaneEd@ThinkingOutsidetheCage.org. If you need some four-legged inspiration, take a look at the adoptable animals at Animal Friends who could benefit from your generosity.
CELEBRATE! If you have a donation to drop off at Animal Friends, we’d love to thank you in person for your kindness and invite you to take a special self-guided Empathy Walk around the shelter. Interactions with shelter residents are not included in donation drop-off tours.
Individuals or leaders of a youth group may drop off funds, supply-drive items, or the suggested handmade enrichment items during Animal Friends’ regular operating hours:
Tuesday-Friday | 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Saturday-Sunday | 10 a.m.-5 p.m
No appointment is necessary! When you visit, be sure to check in with a Welcome Center Associate who will provide you with a certificate of thanks and self-guided tour materials, should you wish to explore the Adoption Floor. Please note that many or all of the rabbit residents are not viewable on Tuesdays and Thursdays beginning at 5:30 pm.
Small groups (of up to 12 youth and up to 4 required accompanying adults) are welcome to schedule a visit which includes all you need to take your group on a special self-guided, activity-filled Empathy Walk around the Adoption Floor at Animal Friends as well as a certificate of thanks. Empathy Walks are recommended for those in grades K-6. Two to four weeks prior to your desired donation drop-off date, please complete this Humane Helper Visit Request Form. We will reply with a confirmation email. Your visit is not confirmed until you receive a confirmation email.
Tips for requesting a donation drop-off visit:
- Visits must be scheduled during our open hours listed above.
- A drop-off and self-guided tour can take 30-60 minutes, depending on group size. Youth and attending adults are welcome to explore the Humane Education & Engagement Center on their own at the conclusion of the tour. The HE&EC, located next to the Adoption Floor, offers self-guided educational activities related to animals and animal care.
- Groups wishing to have their photo taken should bring a completed photo consent form for every participant under the age of 18.
Questions? Email HumaneEd@ThinkingOutsidetheCage.org.
Interested in earning community service hours for school or college, or being part of an animal welfare organization? Teens between the ages of 13-18 are welcome to become volunteers at Animal Friends! We offer independent volunteer opportunities as well as opportunities to volunteer alongside a parent or guardian.
Want to learn more? Parents and teens can click here for information about becoming a volunteer at Animal Friends.