Pet Start

Pet Start was originally created and launched by the Humane Society for SW Washington in partnership with Clark County Head Start. This program was designed to reach the very young with a message of care and compassion for all living things and to teach basic tools for animal safety to these students. Each session has a group interaction, reminders about past sessions and the mission of the Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter, reading time from an age appropriate and topic relevant book, and time for questions and answers. The second and third sessions bring animal ambassadors into the classroom for the students to meet. Session may be shorter or longer - from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on classroom needs and the students’ ability to focus.

Kids Speak for Pets

"Kids Speak for Pets is a unique collaboration between an animal shelter, Boys and Girls Club, Kid Scoop News and community sponsors. The program conducts humane education-themed writing workshops at the Boys and Girls Club. By incorporating a publishing opportunity and a pet welfare curriculum into the writing workshop program, students see a purpose to their reading and writing activities and become motivated to master their skills to write a clear and compelling article. They are also given a meaningful way to serve and connect with their local community through opportunities to have their articles published in Kid Scoop News and on the website."

Service Learning Projects

When students are with Growing Kinder serving our Santa Cruz County Animal Shelter they learn about our shelter, how S.C.C.A.S. interacts with our community, and what the shelter's operations and missions are. They may also learn about basic pet care, animal welfare, and positive training methods depending of the particular focus of their program. Service Learning Together provides a structured program for youth and mentor teams to learn about animal welfare in their community and to help the pets in the care of the animal shelter.

Project WILD

"From the tiny minnow to the majestic grizzly, wildlife and humans are integrally connected. Project WILD links students and wildlife through its mission to provide wildlife-based conservation and environmental education that fosters responsible actions toward wildlife and related natural resources. Through the use of balanced curriculum materials and professional training workshops, Project WILD accomplishes its goal of developing awareness, knowledge, skills and commitment. This results in the making of informed decisions, responsible behavior, and constructive action concerning wildlife and the environment."

Merit Badge Counseling

Scouting offers Merit Badges in dozens of subjects, and Scouts must earn badges to advance in Scouting. The badges typically require a variety of specific tasks, accomplishments, and demonstrations of knowledge satisfactory to Merit Badge Counselors. Growing Kinder will offer counseling for the Merit Badges in Dog Care, Pets, and Veterinary Medicine.

For further information about any of these programs, including scheduling requests, please send an email to

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