Animal Academy

Paint My Pet


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.

Animals are such a big part of our world, our community, and our families. Animal Academy is a place to learn more about animals and the incredible influence they have on our lives. Through these unique and varying academies kids will have the opportunity to learn more about how we can make the lives of animals better, and how they make our lives better in return! Animal Academy is a place of learning; but also a place to have fun, meet new people, and grow in your love for animals.

Upcoming Animal Academy programs are listed below. All programs take place at our Golden Valley location. Participants should not expect significant animal contact in this program.

Paint My Pet - Summer Dates Open!

Date and time: July 21 and August 12, 10 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Cost: $60
For ages: 10-14

Paint a portrait of your pet! In this Animal Academy children will have the opportunity to paint a portrait of their dog, cat, rabbit — or any animal. Children 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. Your child will be lead through the entire process. At the end of the program, attendees will bring their painting home with them.

Please send your high resolution photo to

AHS will provide all painting supplies.

Junior Dog Trainer

Date and time: 2018-2019 dates coming soon!
Cost: $40
For ages: 10-14

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.

Pet Photography 101

Date and time: 2018-2019 dates coming soon!
Cost: $40
For ages: 10-14

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!

Learn with our special guest, Zach Nugent, Animal Humane Society’s content and media producer. You may have seen Zach on our social media pages, quoted in the newspaper, or even on TV! Zach will coach kids attending this workshop on how to work with animals to get a great shot.

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.

While we will be working in a shelter environment, participants should not expect significant animal contact as part of this workshop.

Animal Investigators

Date and time: 2018-2019 dates coming soon!
Cost: $40
For ages: 10-14

Join us for our newest Animal Academy, 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.

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

Contact the Pet Helpline