Humane Education

Classroom Presentations, Shelter Tours, On-Site Educational Opportunities, Summer Critter Camp, Humane Investigations

Humane Education

Since 1949 we have been offering Humane Education presentations to preschool and elementary schools throughout Santa Barbara County in order to foster a life-long dedication for the kind and responsible treatment of animals. Our classroom presentations allow the students to gain empathy and respect for all living things, including each other. Students are actively engaged during the presentations and participation by every student is encouraged. The presentations are age-appropriate and meet the state-mandated requirements for teaching Humane Education.

Classroom Presentations

Pet Pals, for preschool through second graders, helps students realize that we have the same basic needs as pets!  The children learn that having a pet is a big responsibility and that we need to care for them because they rely on us. Students view basic pet care supplies and discuss the needs and feelings we share with our pets.  They learn how to be safe around dogs and have a chance to practice petting our friendly education dog!  Presentation length: 30 minutes.

Urban Wildlife, for second through fourth graders, focuses on learning the differences between domestic and wild animals.  We discuss the types of wildlife common in the area, how to respond to wild animals, and why they belong in their natural habitats and not as pets. We encourage empathy through helping the students to understand the characteristics of wild animals and how to peacefully coexist with each other. Presentation length: 45 minutes.

Pet Detectives, for second through fifth graders, teaches students how to be “Pet Detectives” and interpret a dog’s body language to understand what they’re telling us and how to respond. We also emphasize appropriate behavior around dogs to prevent bites, including greeting new dogs, the importance of keeping a dog on a leash, and how to foster a better relationship with their pets. Presentation length: 45 minutes.

Endangered Species, for fourth through sixth graders, heightens awareness of long-term problems in nature created by human intervention.  Special focus is placed on local endangered species and causes and prevention of wildlife endangerment and extinction. The children are encouraged to participate in discussions to think about how our lifestyle choices can have a serious impact on the environment and what they can do to be part of the solution. Presentation length: 45 minutes.

Compassionate & Responsible Care of Pets, for fifth through sixth graders, is an in-depth look at problems that many pets face.  This class develops empathy for animals as well as people. Students learn about responsible pet ownership as they recognize the nationwide problem of homeless pets. We discuss animal neglect, abuse, abandonment and overpopulation. We discuss solutions such as compassionate care, education, adoption and spay and neuter programs. Presentation length: 45 minutes.

Shelter Tours

The Santa Barbara Humane Society invites you and your students to visit our facility and learn more about what we do by scheduling a guided tour. The tour begins in our Education Center, where we use visual aids to discuss what the Humane Society does and why we have the animals here for adoption. We then take a tour of the property and see our adoption animals, clinic, boarding facilities and the surrounding grounds. The length of the tour is approximately one hour. To schedule a guided tour, please call the Education Department at 964-4777 x17.

Adult Education And Offsite Community Outreach

The Santa Barbara Humane Society also offers small group tours of our facility for adults in the community. These tours will focus more on the history of the Humane Society and services we provide for the community followed by a walk around the property, pointing out the different areas of the facility and viewing the adoption animals.

On-Site Educational Opportunities

Members of the public are encouraged to visit our beautiful 5-acre facility on Overpass Road. You may stop in anytime during our operating hours (M-Sa, 10am-5pm) just to browse, visit the animals, enjoy a picnic, or to take advantage of our many excellent services. Flyers, publications, and displays throughout the shelter provide many educational opportunities for visitors to enjoy. You may also schedule a tour for your school or community group, by calling (805) 964-4777 ext. 17.

Humane Investigations

The Santa Barbara Humane Society, in cooperation with County Animal Services and Santa Barbara City Animal Control, investigates cases of animal cruelty, neglect, and abandonment. The Humane Society’s Humane Officer provides services to the citizens of Santa Barbara County under State Penal Code 597. County Animal Services and Santa Barbara City Animal Control enforce all local and state laws pertaining to the care and treatment of animals as reported by members of the public and partner agencies, including other law enforcement agencies, health departments, code enforcement, and social service agencies. A large number of the situations investigated by the Humane Officer are resolved through educating the owner about how to properly care for the animal. When appropriate, charges are filed with the District Attorney.

All reports of cruelty to animals are taken seriously by the Santa Barbara Humane Society. To report a suspected case of animal neglect, animal cruelty, animal abandonment, or concerns regarding the welfare of an animal in the Santa Barbara area, please contact our Humane Investigations Department at (805) 964-4777, ext. 18. Please be prepared to provide the street address and zip code of the property where the animal is located. All calls are confidential. Our staff may ask for your name in case the Humane Officer is currently on a call so that the Humane Officer can contact you directly about the case.

Humane Education Schedule Request Form

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Thank you for coming to our school for your presentation on pets.  Faith was so sweet and the children are still talking about her. Learning how to approach a dog safely is very important for little ones who are the same size as our pets!  Thank you for your time and patience with our kids.

We hope to see you again next year!

Jo Bittner, St. Raphael School

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