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Paws and Pages Literacy Program

Read to a shelter pet

Your child will build reading skills while providing comfort to shelter pets at HSSA's Paws and Pages Literacy Program.

The Paws and Pages Literacy Program provides children the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of shelter pets while building confidence and improving reading skills.

The APSCA has observed that shy and fearful dogs warm up to humans quicker when a kind human reads them a great book. Here at HSSA, we will read to shy dogs and cats as well as sick dogs who are long-term residents with limited human interaction. As exemplified by shelter literacy programs across the country, this reading program will encourage our shelter dogs to approach the front of their kennels for potential adopters and thus improve their chances of a short stay with us at HSSA.

Paws and Pages Literacy Program New logo concept Final


  • Children ages 5 to 14 who are interested in improving their reading skills, either to meet or exceed age-appropriate reading levels, are welcome to join us.

  • Children are expected to wear long pants and close-toed shoes as well as adhere to hygiene guidelines while in the kennels.

  • Each participant must attend a short orientation with an adult chaperone to learn about participant requirements, safety around animals, and empathy for our furry friends.

  • Each child must have a liability waiver on file before entering the kennel areas.

  • Each child must have an adult on the property during their scheduled reading time, but adults are encouraged to wait in our Cozy Café or visit our adoptable animals while their child is reading.

Incentive Program:

Participants will receive an HSSA bookmark upon completing training. Incentives will be earned upon completing 2 hours, 5 hours, and 10 hours of reading to our shelter pets.

NEW Paws and Page:s 5 - Session Punch Card can be purchased by members of the Hand in Paw Kid's Club. Click here to learn more!


Register Now!

May 21st:


Thanks to our generous sponsors South West Gas FUEL for LIFE.

Scholarships and financial assistance available for all youth programs.

Please inquire by emailing



For more information, please contact Amy Faulk at or 520-327-6088 ext. 171.

Where are the HSSA Classrooms?

If you are visiting HSSA's Education Department, you will want to go to the coral Education building.

Location Map - Main Campus Locations - Education