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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 aims to give children the opportunity to have a positive impact on the lives of shelter pets while building confidence and improving reading skills.


It has been observed by the APSCA that being read to helps fearful or shy dogs become more comfortable with people because there is no forced interaction. 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.


  • Children ages 5 to 11 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.


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

child with green shirt sitting and reading to dog in kennel

Start Reading Register Today!

March 9 & 23, 2019
April 13, 2019
May 11 & 25, 2019


The Paws and Pages Literacy program is brought to you by the Humane Society of Southern Arizona and Bookmans Entertainment Exchange.

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