Tour Guidelines

Thank you for your interest in reserving a Humane Education tour at Animal Friends for your group of 5-30 children. We are pleased to offer creative kenneling for our residents and hope the visit will teach the children about the needs of homeless pets in Pittsburgh.

Reservation Required

Upon completing the online reservation, the contact person will immediately receive a confirmation that they should print and bring to the visit. The contact person who completes the reservation process is expected to attend the tour. If they cannot do so, they should designate a new contact person. This person’s name and contact information should be sent to Donna at DKlingelhofer@ThinkingOutsideTheCage.orgat least 48 hours prior to the tour.

Cancellation Policy

Due to the high demand for our programs, there is a $20 non-refundable deposit required to reserve the 75-minute program, AF 127, after school or on a Saturday. For summer programs, a $50 non-refundable deposit is required.

Due to the high demand for our programs, we request that groups who must cancel their reservation do so as soon as possible so that we may relist the opening on our website for another group to reserve. Please contact with cancellations.

Inclement Weather

In case of inclement weather, please check Animal Friends’ website to confirm our hours. If your group needs to reschedule because of weather, please contact our receptionist at 412.847.7000. Our phones answer 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on weekdays and 10 a.m.-5 p.m. on weekends. Please leave a message if you are directed to our voicemail.

Behavior Expectations

For the comfort of our animals and the safety of the children, we expect that the children will:

  • Not run in the parking lot or in the building.
  • Not climb on or in the fountain at our entrance.
  • Use quiet voices.
  • Stay with the group.
  • Keep fingers out of the cages and kennels.
  • Not tap on glass sections of animals’ living areas.
  • Follow directions given by Animal Friends’ staff members and volunteers.

Please share these behavior expectations with all chaperones and children prior to their arrival.


Please provide a number of chaperones within the range indicated by your reservation. Our room size, limited parking and tour procedure do not permit us to include unlimited chaperones.

Any additional drivers should park, escort the children to the contact person and return to meet the children inside the lobby at the end of the visit.

Chaperones are expected to enforce the behavior expectations and therefore should be selected accordingly.

Adult chaperones are asked to set a good example and not talk with each other or on their phones during the tour/presentation. Most adults let us know that they have learned something along with the students!


While your group is at Animal Friends, other public activities such as training classes, birthday parties, volunteer orientations (and hopefully lots of adoptions!) will likely be occurring. Therefore, we require that all groups carpool due to limited parking.


Each child should bring a gift for the animals from our Supply Drive list. Monetary gifts are also welcome via our Kind Kids program. Animal Friends relies upon community support, and we thank you for your kindness!

Our Animals

Not all of the 250 animals at Animal Friends have been exposed to children. Some may have had a negative experience prior to living with us. Members of the public also bring their dogs to us for training. Therefore, it is important that the children do not approach any dogs on leashes in the parking lot or in the building.

If your group is receiving a dog safety presentation, the dog is a member of Animal Friends’ Therapets program. Please let the children know in advance that the pre-selected dog is the only animal who they will get to pet during their visit. The adoptable animals will be visible in their kennels or behind glass – most of them are happy to have the children visit.

Upon Arrival

Please drive slowly up our driveway and in our parking lot as volunteers walk dogs in these areas. Your tour will be held in Building #1.

If your group arrives more than 10 minutes early, please wait in your vehicles. Or, if the weather is nice, please sit your group along the half wall outside of our entrance. Children should be under the direct supervision of a chaperone while in the parking lot and at the main entrance. This is a good time to review behavior expectations with the group. The children will be excited about the visit, and chaperones can set the appropriate tone in the parking lot and at the main entrance to insure that the children follow the behavior expectations.

Your group may use the two family restrooms in the lobby. Children may not leave the lobby to look at the animals. The Education Coordinator or Humane Education Volunteer will meet your group in the lobby at your reservation time.

Late Arrivals

If your group arrives late, we will most likely have to shorten the presentation/tour so that we may end at the time designated by your reservation. If you will be arriving late, please call our main line at 412.847.7000. If you receive voicemail, please leave a message.

Retail Store

All profits from our Retail Store directly benefit our animals. Children must be accompanied by a chaperone while in the Retail Store. For the comfort of employees and customers, we ask that the children refrain from excessive use of the store’s clickers or squeaky toys.

Upon Departure

Please note that our driveway is one-way coming up the hill. You must loop around the upper second level of the parking lot to exit.

We look forward to hosting your group!

Dana Schultz, M. Ed.
Education Coordinator