Animal Academy

Fluffy dog with white fur dog getting head massage

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 workshops, participants have the opportunity to learn how we can make the lives of animals better, and how they make our lives better in return!

Registration details

2023 dates coming soon

Location: Golden Valley shelter (845 Meadow Ln N, Golden Valley, MN 55422)
Age requirement: Children must be ages 10+ in order to participate.
Program fee: $45 per session

Dog Massage

Did you know dogs can benefit from massage in many of the same ways humans do? It’s true! Some of the benefits include improved circulation, eased discomfort associated with arthritis, reduced stress, relaxation, and creating an unbreakable bond between you and your pet.

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 can bring a stuffed dog from home, or we can provide one for you.

Junior Dog Trainer

During the Junior Dog Trainer program, participants will experience what it’s like to be a dog trainer at Animal Humane Society, taught by an AHS professional trainer. Students will learn:

  • Positive reinforcement training and why it's so important.
  • The steps needed to teach a dog or cat a new skill.
  • 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!

Pet Photography 101

Capturing a great animal photo isn’t easy. Join professional photographer Kirsten Eitreim and other aspiring artists 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. Send us a message to reserve one in advance, as supplies are limited.

Animal Investigators

Join us for a look inside the world of animal investigators! Led by our Humane Investigations team, you’ll learn about the work AHS does beyond the shelter walls.

Our humane investigators are 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 can expect to: 

  • Learn about our Humane Investigations department and Critical Response Team (CRT)
  • Gain a deeper understanding of the obstacles Humane Agents and shelters face everyday 
  • Learn how you can apply this knowledge to problem-solve real world scenarios

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


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

View our cancelation policy and FAQs.

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

Contact the Pet Helpline