Animal Academy

Paint My Pet

Animals are such a big part of our world, our community, and our families. Animal Academy is a place to learn about animals and the incredible influence they have on our lives. Through these unique and varying academies participants have the opportunity to learn about how we can make the lives of animals better, and how they make our lives better in return! 

Paint My Pet

Age: 10-14

  • Saturday, February 16, 2 p.m. - Woodbury
  • Sunday, May 19, 2 p.m. - Golden Valley

Age: 18+

  • Sunday, January 13, 2 p.m. - Coon Rapids
  • Saturday, March 9, 2 p.m. - Golden Valley

Paint a portrait of your pet! In this Animal Academy participants will have the opportunity to paint a portrait of their dog, cat, rabbit — or any animal. Everyone will be guided through the entire portrait by an experienced artist. No previous painting experience is needed.

After you’ve registered for the program, please email us a high quality photo of your pet (just one pet per canvas). We will transfer the outline of your pet onto a 16” x 20” canvas before the program. You will be led through the entire process. At the end of the program, attendees will bring their painting home with them.

Each painting session is 2 hours and 30 minutes in length.

Please send your high resolution photo to

AHS will provide all painting supplies.

Cost: $60

Junior Dog Trainer
  • Saturday, January 5, 2 p.m. - Coon Rapids
  • Saturday, March 30, 2 p.m. - Golden Valley
  • Saturday, May 18, 2 p.m. - Woodbury

Has your 10-14 year old ever wondered what it would be like to be an animal trainer? Now is the time to find out! During this Junior Dog Trainer program, participants will experience what it’s like to be a dog trainer at the Animal Humane Society. Participants will learn:

  • Positive reinforcement training and why is it so important.
  • The steps needed to teach a dog or cat a new skill.
  • Learn about how AHS works with shelter animals to improve their behavior.
  • What you can do now to prepare yourself to be an animal trainer one day!  

Learning how to improve the behavior of our pets is a wonderful skill to learn, for the whole family! This program will allow kids a look into the training world and experience how rewarding the bond between people and animals can be.

Cost: $40
Ages: 10-14

Pet Photography 101
  • Saturday, December 15, 2 p.m. - Golden Valley
  • Saturday, March 2, 2 p.m. - Golden Valley 
  • Sunday, March 17, 2 p.m. - Coon Rapids

Capturing a great animal photo isn’t easy. Join us for a fun and educational workshop focusing on how to capture the perfect pet photo!

Participants will have the opportunity to take pictures of real shelter animals, experiment with lighting techniques, and decorate their own picture frame. We will learn how to read animal body language to ensure animals are comfortable before we take their photo.

Please bring a camera with you to the program (smart phones work, too). If you don’t have a camera, we can provide one for you. Please email to reserve one in advance, as supplies are limited.

Cost: $40
Ages: 10-14

Animal Investigators
  • Sunday, February 24, 2-4 p.m. - Golden Valley

Join us for a look inside the world of animal investigators, learn about the work AHS does beyond the shelter walls. This program will be led by AHS Humane Investigations staff.

Animal Humane Society’s Humane Investigations team is committed to seeking justice for animals by investigating reports of animal mistreatment and neglect. Aiding animals in crisis is a core part of Animal Humane Society’s mission. 

Participants will learn about the AHS Humane Investigation program and our new Critical Response Team (CRT), who travel all over the country, providing assistance wherever it’s needed most. Gain a deeper understanding of what Humane Agents and CRT staff do and why their work is so important! 

This program will include a tour of the shelter and a Q&A session with an AHS Humane Investigations Agent.

Cost: $40
Ages: 10-14

Dog Massage
  • Sunday, April 14, 2 p.m. - Golden Valley

Did you know dogs can benefit from massage in many of the same way humans do? It’s true! Some of the many benefits include; improve circulation, ease discomfort associated with arthritis, reduce stress and promote relaxation.

This Animal Academy will teach kids the value of compassionate touch using the children’s own stuffed dogs and the educator’s stuffed dog for practice. Working with stuffed dogs, rather than live pets, makes for a very safe and fun environment.

 Codi Falley, PetMassage for Kids™ Educator and owner of Paws Fur Massage, will teach participants the basic hands-on skills of canine massage and principles of dog handling safety. They will learn basic handling, touching, holding, stroking, and other PetMassage™ techniques with their stuffed dogs.

Participants are encouraged to bring a stuffed dog from home, or we can provide one for you.

Cost: $40
Ages: 10-14


If you have questions about Animal Academy, please contact our Humane Education team at 763-489-2220 or send us an email.

View our cancellation policy and FAQs.

For caring, compassionate advice and resources to address all your animal concerns.

Contact the Pet Helpline