Rescue Readers

Young girl reading to dog in shelter

Research shows reading can have a calming effect on animals. Rescue Readers — a one-hour reading program where young students come to the shelter and read to the animals in our adoption centers — provides soothing company to dogs, cats, and critters as they await adoption. And as a bonus, students gain confidence and improve their reading skills!

Participants first complete an orientation session where they’ll learn about AHS and the Rescue Readers program. After orientation, they can sign up for scheduled one-hour reading sessions. Readers can choose to spend the entire hour with one animal or divide their time among multiple animals.

AHS will provide books to read and blankets to sit on, but readers may also bring their favorite books from home. Every student will also receive a special Rescue Readers bookmark, reading log, and certificate.

The cost of the Rescue Readers orientation is $15, and each hour-long reading session is $10. Registration covers the cost for one reader and one parent or guardian. The parent or guardian is expected to be present with their child for the entirety of the program.  We are unable to accommodate unregistered siblings at orientation or reading sessions.

Rescue Readers is currently available at our Golden Valley, Woodbury, and Coon Rapids locations and will expand to St. Paul in 2018.

Upcoming orientation dates and locations

Orientations are 1 hour and 45 minutes in length.

Coon Rapids

  • Sunday, October 29, 9 a.m.
  • Sunday, November 12, 9 a.m.

Golden Valley

  • Saturday, November 4, 9 a.m.
  • Saturday, November 11, 2 p.m.
  • Sunday, November 26, 9 a.m.


  • Saturday, November 18, 2 p.m.
Upcoming Rescue Readers sessions

Reading sessions are 1 hour in length.

Coon Rapids

  • Wednesday, October 25, 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 4, 10:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, November 28, 4:30 p.m.

Golden Valley

  • Tuesday, October 17, 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 21, 10:30 a.m. FULL
  • Thursday, October 26, 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, October 28, 10:30 a.m. FULL
  • Sunday, November 5, 10:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, November 18, 10:30 a.m.
  • Tuesday, November 21, 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, November 25, 1 p.m.


  • Sunday, October 22, 9 a.m.
  • Friday, November 10, 4:30 p.m.
  • Monday, November 20, 4:30 p.m.

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

Contact the Pet Helpline