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Humane Education Programs

At the ARLGP, we believe that in teaching our community kids at a young age to be responsible pet owners and advocates, we are ensuring animals will be humanely treated and cared for well into the future.

At our new Arthur P. Girard Adoption Center, Humane Education takes the stage. With our new in-shelter classroom, the ARLGP now provides a full-time curriculum of programming, workshops, and events for youth of all ages.

In-Shelter Programming For Kids

Junior Volunteer Days at the ARLGP

Our new junior volunteer days offer youth the opportunity to experience shelter life hands-on with activities and projects that support every aspect of the facility.

Junior Volunteer Days are offered on specific Saturday mornings throughout the school year. Each session is designed for specific grade levels and meet 9am-noon with a maximum enrollment of 15 volunteers. Volunteer time will include interaction with our adoptable animals and will be led by our on-staff humane educators. Parents do not need to stay with their child during volunteer days.

Cost for participation is $10 per volunteer, per session (snack will be provided).

Please check back for junior volunteer days and registration for the 2020-2021 school year.

Paint Your Pet Workshop

Join us for a fun-filled workshop of pets and paints. During this two-hour activity, students will be led through the process of painting a custom picture of their own pet. Outlines will be sketched ahead of time, so any skill level is welcome. We’ll make it a tail-wagging time with shelter tours and pet meet-and-greets.

Fee: $25 per kid, snacks and drinks will be provided!

Please check back for paint your pet workshop dates and registration for the 2020-2021 school year.

After-School Clubs

Do you have a student who is an animal lover, advocate and friend? Our after-school clubs are designed to give students a deeper connection to the animal welfare world, sheltering in our community, responsible pet care and more.

Please check back for after-school club schedule and registration for the 2020-2021 school year.

Weekly Storytime for Toddlers


The Animal Refuge League of Greater Portland toddler storytime is designed for kids 3-5 to experience the shelter hands-on through picture books, facility exploration, and animal meet-and-greet. Led by our humane education team, storytime is the perfect activity for parents and caregivers of preschool-aged children.

Dates: Fridays during the school year. Check back for our fall 2020 Toddler Storytime start date!
Time: 9:30-10:30am

PLEASE NOTE: if Westbrook schools are canceled or off (weather, school vacation, holiday) there is no storytime at the ARLGP.

NEW: auto-charge for storytime attendance! By completing our auto-charge form the ARLGP will charge your debit/credit card $5 per session attended the month before. Charges will occur on the first Thursday of every month.

Birthday Parties

Celebrate your birthday in the most fur-tastic way! ARLGP birthday parties include two hours of programming and festivities in our humane education classroom. Learn more and schedule your birthday party today >

Girl Scout Programs

Are you looking to earn your Pets Badge? Or your Daisy Petals? The ARLGP now offers a 2-hour workshop that will include a tour of the shelter as well as hands-on activities to talk about animal needs and animal welfare issues. After this 2 hour workshop, you will have completed all aspects needed to complete your Girl Scout Badge. Learn more about our scout programming.


Unleashed Vacation Camps

The ARLGP offers day camps during the December, February and April school vacation weeks as well as school holidays. Designed for grades K-2, 3-5, and 6-8, day camps give students an in-shelter experience with age-appropriate programming and activities. Learn more and register for school vacation/holiday camps.

Unleashed Summer Camp

Unleashed Summer Camp is the purr-fect way for your animal lover to spend the summer. Learn more about our 2020 summer camps here >

Parents: Sign up to receive e-newsletters and notifications about humane education programming!

For Teachers & Educators

The ARLGP offers free in-class presentations, workshops and lessons to local schools covering a wide variety of animal-related topics. Our certified humane education teacher can also help you incorporate humane lessons into your teaching at any grade level. We can also help students or groups choose service/learning projects and support you through the process.

Download our Humane Education in the Classroom PDF for a full list of lesson topics provided by our educators.

Have questions? Want to schedule an in-class visit? Contact our humane education department at education@arlgp.org or (207) 517-3939.

Teachers: Sign up to receive e-newsletters and notifications about humane education programming!

Shelter Tours

The ARLGP offers shelter tours to school groups, scout groups, daycares, after-school programs and more! Tours are 30 minutes long and cover all areas of the shelter- from the dogs, cats and small animals, to the behind-the-scenes operations that keep the ARLGP running. Children learn what a shelter provides to the community, and how we care for animals in need.

Schedule a shelter tour by contacting our humane education department at education@arlgp.org or (207) 517-3939.

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