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Humane Education

MHHS is dedicated to educating the public about its role in animal welfare in our community, and suggesting ways you and your group can help the homeless, neglected and abused animals of the Capital Region.

Shelter tours are scheduled in advance, and are conducted Monday through Saturday, 11am-4pm. Off-site visits are scheduled according to the availability of MHHS staff or volunteers.

What you can expect from a shelter tour:

Children's groups are shown two narrated, age-appropriate videos about the pet intake process (e.g., what happens when a pet comes to MHHS) and a slideshow of animals recently sheltered with us. This part of the tour lasts about 30 minutes, which allows time for questions. Then a staff person or volunteer will guide your group through the cat and dog adoption areas. With age-appropriate questions and answers, your group will learn how and why the animals arrive at the shelter, what type of care we provide to them and how adoptions work. Depending upon the age of the group, we will discuss issues such as animal overpopulation, the importance of spaying and neutering all pets, and the issues of animal abuse and neglect. The entire tour should take about an hour.

What we ask of you:

The animal shelter is a very busy place with many activities taking place at one time, from animal care to customer service. Unlike our pets at home, shelter animals are stressed, confused and frightened. We are committed to making their stay here as comfortable and stress-free as possible. We are also committed to maintaining a professional, customer friendly environment.

Groups must have adequate and responsible adult supervision. We recommend no more than five children per adult in either adoption room at any one time. We ask that you prepare your group members by asking them to refrain from making sudden and loud noises, and from touching the animals. Visitors must keep their fingers out of the kennels. Please ask your group members to be courteous and soft-spoken while listening to the guide and visiting the animals.

Just as we humans spread colds and viruses at work and at school, so do animals here at the shelter. We do everything we can to limit the spread of disease. IF A VISITOR TOUCHES AN ANIMAL, S/HE MUST DISINFECT HIS/HER HANDS. There are hand sanitizer stations throughout the shelter.

Please make sure your group is adequately supervised. We do not want to jeopardize the welfare and safety of the animals, staff, volunteers or visitors. We appreciate your full cooperation in order to make your visit fun, educational and safe!

What you can expect when we visit you:

We will do our best to accommodate your requests. When requested, we typically bring one well-behaved shelter "alum." Some of our Humane Education volunteers have certified therapy dogs they bring along. It is best that you prepare your group ahead of time, using some of the information in the section above, "What we ask of you." Group members should listen carefully as the speaker teaches them how to safely approach an animal. Group members must not crowd or startle the visiting animal, but ask to gently pet the animal, one at a time, when appropriate. It is suggested that group members, or a leader on behalf of the group, have a list of prepared questions to ask their visitor. This especially helps young children stay focused.

Many groups ask what they can collect to help us care for the animals. You can find donation ideas on our wish list. Thank you for your interest in our Humane Education program. We look forward to receiving your request for a shelter tour or off-site visit.


Off-site humane education visit programs:

For pre-school children - Introduction to pets at the Humane Society and read-aloud

A MHHS volunteer will come to your school or day care center. S/he will show a brief video which showcases the pets who have passed through the doors of MHHS during the past year. According to availability, you may also request the volunteer to bring a therapy dog. The volunteer will read one of several age-appropriate books we have that talk about pets and their humane treatment. This program lasts about 30 minutes.

For school-aged children and adult groups - "Mohawk Hudson Humane Society - Serving Pets and Their People in the Capital District"

A MHHS volunteer will come to your school or organization to speak about the role of Mohawk Hudson Humane Society (MHHS). This program will include information about services MHHS offers, e.g. adoption services, pet training classes, the Safe Haven program for pets in domestic violence situations, animal cruelty investigation, low-income spay/neuter program, etc. Two brief videos are shown. (A DVD player and a large-screen TV or LCD projector are required.) One video addresses the intake process for pets at MHHS and the other is a slideshow of pets who have passed through the doors of MHHS over the past year. This program lasts about 45 minutes.


How to Contact Us for a Visit

If you are a teacher, scout leader, counselor or other representative and would like to schedule a shelter tour or off-site visit for your group, please fill out the following form:

*Contact name
*Daytime telephone number
(format: xxx-xxx-xxxx)
*E-mail address
* Name of organization
*Age range of your group
*Number in group
* Type of request
* Your site location
* What would you like your group members to gain from this experience?
(*Indicates required field)

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