Humane Education FAQ

Common questions about our Humane Education programs.

Summer Camp FAQs

What time should I arrive? 

Camp runs from Monday through Friday, from 9:00am to 3:00pm on site at our new shelter, 2601 Chanticleer Ave. Please arrive no earlier than 8:50 am and plan to be picked up no later than 3:10 pm. It is very important that campers be picked up on time because we do not have  facilities or staff to supervise children after camp is over. 

Do I need to be there every day? 

We hope so! Some camp activities will build on ones from previous days, so you might miss out on something important if you miss too much time. If you need to miss a day, just let us know. 

What will we do during the week? 

We’ll learn about many different kinds of animals and how to care for them, at home and in the wild! We will do a variety of activities, crafts, and games that will not only be fun, but many will also directly benefit shelter animals. We will also have quite a few interesting guest speakers, many of whom will have different kinds of animals accompanying them. This is a humane education camp aimed at teaching campers the importance of all life and how they can contribute to the well-being of animals and the environment in our local area. 

Will we get to meet any real animals? 

Yes! You will certainly meet and handle cats and dogs, and you will meet many other types of animals, like rabbits and chickens. You will get a chance to hang out with the animals from the SPCA as well as visiting with animals brought by presenters and give them some TLC (Tender Loving Care). You will also be able to advocate for SPCA animals and help them find homes.  

What should I bring with me? 

Bring a lunch, snacks and something to drink every day. We do not provide any snacks during camp. We suggest bringing a water bottle that you can refill if you get thirsty. As it will be summertime and quite warm, we also suggest hats, sunglasses and sunblock to protect from the sun as we will be both indoors and outdoors. If you need to have medications with you during camp, please let us know. 

What should I wear? 

You should wear comfortable clothes that you don’t mind getting dirty. You never know when a dog will drool on you or a cat will shed some fur on your shirt. Please wear closed toe shoes as well. We ask that campers wear a mask at all times.

Will I be caring for any animals during Camp? 

We may be “caring” for animals that are staying with us during the week of camp. The “caring” can include socializing, training, feeding, cleaning up poop/pee etc. We will not be cleaning cages, doing laundry or anything of that nature. 

What things are not allowed at Camp? 

For the safety of the animals as well as campers, please do not wear long-hanging jewelry. No games (including video, hand-held or electronic devices) or other valuable belongings should be brought. Cell phones must be on “vibrate” during camp sessions unless approved by education staff. Please consider labeling any personal belongings your child will be bringing. Santa Cruz SPCA is not responsible for lost articles.

P.A.W.S FAQs

How old does a child have to be to participate?

We welcome students ages 7 through 12, grouped by their age range. The ranges are as follows:

  • Junior P.A.W.S - 7 yrs to 9 yrs
  • Pre-Teen P.A.W.S - 10 yrs to 12 yrs

How often does P.A.W.S meet?

There is a new session of P.A.W.S each month. We meet for three after school sessions a month.

Can my child come any day of the week?

We have each age group meet on a different day of the week. They are as follows:

  • Junior P.A.W.S - Tuesday from 4pm - 6pm
  • Pre-Teen P.A.W.S - Thursday from 4pm - 6pm through December 2021 and then Wednesday 4-6pm January through May 2022

Do I need to accompany my child?

No, it is a drop-off program where students work alongside our education staff.

Is it hands on with the animals?

Yes, students will be working hands on with both cats and dogs.

What should my child wear to the session?

For safety reasons, we ask that all students wear long pants and closed toed shoes as well as clothes they don't mind getting dirty while here working with the animals.

What if my child has no prior animal experience?

That's ok! Each new session has an orientation on the first day where we go over safety and handling. Students work with kid-safe animals and are always being supervised by an adult.

Can my child sign up for more than one session?

To allow the for the most students to have the opportunity to benefit from the program we ask that families only sign up for one month at a time at least during initial registration.  If there are more open sessions after the initial registration rush an additional month should be no problem.

Will this count toward Community Service Hours?

We would be happy to sign off on community service hours per session as long as the student brings along the appropriate paperwork from the school. We also have another youth volunteer program (Community Service Saturdays) that occur on the last Saturday of every month.

How do I sign up for P.A.W.S?

To sign up for P.A.W.S, visit the Youth Volunteer tab of our Humane Education page.

Parents will be sent a waiver to fill out and either send back or bring in on the first day of program.

Community Service Saturdays FAQs

How old does my child need to be to participate?

These sessions are geared toward middle and high school students, age 13 to 15, in need of community service hours. 

How often do you meet?

Community Service Saturdays happen one Saturday a month, usually the last Saturday, from 10am to 12pm or 1pm to 3pm through December 2021 and 10-1pm January through May 2022.

Do I need to accompany my child?

No, it is a drop off program where students work alongside our education staff.

Is the program hands on with the animals?

The first half of each session is devoted to project-based work around the shelter, such as: organizing, cleaning, weeding, etc. The latter half is devoted to hands-on time with both cats and dogs at our shelter.

What should my child wear to the session?

For safety reasons, we ask that all students wear long pants and closed toed shoes as well as clothing they don't mind getting dirty while here working with the animals.

What do they need to bring with them?

We recommend that students bring a jacket, a water bottle, and a lunch or snack. We also ask that they bring along any paperwork that they need signed for their community service hours.

What if my child has no prior animal experience?

That's ok! Each new session has an orientation on the first day where we go over safety and handling. Students work with kid-safe animals and are always being supervised by an adult.

Can my child sign up for more than one session?

Yes. We have quite a few repeat Community Service Saturday students who get to work on their animal handling skills each time they come.

How do I sign up for Community Service Saturday?

To register for Community Service Saturdays, visit the Youth Volunteer tab of our Humane Education page. 

Rescue Readers FAQs

How old do you need to be to read to the animals?

The Rescue Readers program is geared toward primary and secondary students in Pre-K through 8th grade.

Do students need to come with a school group?

No, we take individuals as long as they are accompanied by a parent or guardian.

What is the largest school group you can take?

In our current facilities, we can take up to 10 students. However, we can also come out to your school with our education dogs to accommodate a larger group.

Will they be reading to animals in cages?

We try to have children reading in a separate open space where the dogs and cats can get comfortable and ready to listen.

Can they read to both cats and dogs?

When children visit our shelter to read, they can read to both cats and dogs in our care. When we come out to classrooms, we can only bring education dogs with us. As you can probably imagine, the transportation of cats to a new environment is rather scary, so they stay at the shelter.

Can they read to any animal they want?

So that both the children and the animal(s) can get the most out of the interaction, we typically choose who they will be reading to.

Why do you offer this reading program?

We hope to provide our animals with some comforting companionship while at the same time help students in our community to become better readers. The animals are non-judgmental listeners who allow students to practice as much as needed. The cuddle time with our shelter animals or education dogs is just an added bonus that also teaches students about the wonderful animals waiting in our shelter for homes!

How long are the reading sessions?

The reading session lasts 30 minutes  Sometimes our readers will bring one book and sometimes they will bring many!

Do they need to bring their own books?

We encourage you to bring your own reading material that is at the appropriate reading level. However, if you need books for reading, let us know and we can provide them.

How do I sign up for Rescue Readers?

To register for Rescue Readers, please contact our education department or call 831-566-3753.

 

 

Shelter Location

2601 Chanticleer Ave.

Santa Cruz, CA 95065

(P) 831-465-5000 (F) 831-479-8530

 

Hours of Operation

Mon & Tues - CLOSED

Animal Browsing Wed to Sun 11am - 5pm

*PET FOOD PANTRY - Sundays 1:00pm - 3:00pm

The Santa Cruz SPCA is a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to the welfare of animals. We receive no government funding, and depend solely on financial support from our friends. Our organization is not affiliated with any other SPCA or Humane Society.

Tax ID: 94-6171565

© 2024 Santa Cruz SPCA