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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 the Humane Society of Southern Arizona'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 temporarily residing in our shelter. As exemplified by 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 6 to 17 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 visiting the animals. 

  • Each participant must review rules and safety precautions with a parent/guardian prior to their reading session. New participants will review the guidelines with staff/volunteers prior to entering the Adoption areas.

  • Each child must have an adult on-site during their scheduled reading time. Adults are encouraged to wait in our waiting area or visit our Welcome Center during their child’s reading time.

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 Pages is NOW FREE to Hand In Paw Kids Club Members!


SPRING 2024 Paws & Pages:



Thanks to our generous sponsors Southwest Gas FUEL for LIFE.

Scholarships and financial assistance available for all youth programs.

Please inquire by emailing afaulk@hssaz.org.



For more information, please contact Monica Kothe at mkothe@hssaz.org or 520-327-6088 ext. 125.

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