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Humane Education

“Our task must be to free ourselves by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature and its beauty.” – Albert Einstein

The VBSPCA  offers humane education programs designed to cultivate empathy in children by teaching them to understand and respect the feelings of others. Our programs are built on a philosophy of teaching that integrates respect, empathy, and compassion into educational lessons, stories, and everyday life. The Virginia Beach SPCA educates thousands of children every year through various education programs, including online activities, our children’s newsletter, and various shelter activities and experiences.

NEW Summer Activities:

  • Tails and Tales: An Interactive Youth Experience – June 25, July 9, July 23, August 6
    The Virginia Beach SPCA invites children ages 6 to 10 to visit the VBSPCA for an animal themed reading and craft experience. A guest reader will read a book to the group, followed by a craft activity, animal visits, and a shelter tour! Learn more here. 
  • Tale for Two Summer Challenge – June 15 through August 31st.
    This challenge is designed to help new or reluctant readers strengthen their skills and build confidence. Readers will be paired with an animal companion to help improve the experience of reading, while also giving our shelter animals some extra social time. Readers are asked to commit to 5 reading sessions between June 15th and August 31st, and all kids who complete the challenge will receive a VBSPCA t-shirt! Learn more here.

Ongoing Youth Programs:

  • Shelter Tours
    The VBSPCA is happy to offer visiting groups a tour of the shelter. Our tours highlight the cattery, kennel, and small animal room, offering a behind the scenes look at many components of our organization. Tours must be scheduled in advance. Learn more or sign up for a tour here. 
  • Pawsitive Press
    This children’s newsletter offers animal stories, educational lessons, and activities for young animal lovers. This publication is printed seasonally and can be mailed to subscribing households or picked up in the shelter. Learn more here.
  • A Tale for Two
    A Tale for Two is an extension of our Listening Ears Program which pairs a young reader with an animal to make the experience of reading more fun. By bringing the readers to our shelter,  adoptable cats and dogs get to benefit from the positive presence of a child, boosting confidence in both the pet and the person. Learn more here. 
  • Animal Heroes
    The VBSPCA offers an interactive online learning experience called Animal Heroes. Created as a video arcade, the online digital learning platform offers a series of humane education lessons designed to teach players about pet parenting, pet safety, and animal welfare. Learn more here
  • Virtual Activities
    The VBSPCA offers a new virtual educational activity or challenge each season. From writing competitions to art challenges to making your own kennel cards, we provide new ways to learn about the VBSPCA while also having a little bit of fun in this new virtual landscape. Learn about our current activity here.

For general humane education information, please email humaneeducation@vbspca.com.