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 and up to two readers may read with one parent (no exceptions).

Rescue Readers is available at all 4 AHS locations.

Rescue Readers Orientation

Orientations are 1 hour and 45 minutes in length.

Coon Rapids

  • Saturday, March 17, 9 a.m.

Golden Valley

  • Saturday, February 24, 9 a.m.
  • Sunday, March 4, 9 a.m.
  • Saturday, March 31, 9 a.m.


  • Saturday, March 3, 2 p.m.

Saint Paul

  • Saturday, February 17, 9 a.m.
  • Sunday, March 11, 9 a.m.
Rescue Readers Sessions

Reading sessions are 1 hour in length.

Coon Rapids

  • Friday, February 2, 4:30 p.m.
  • Monday, February 12, 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 10, 10:30 a.m.
  • Saturday, March 31, 10:30 a.m.

Golden Valley

  • Monday, February 5, 6:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 8, 4:30 p.m.
  • Friday, February 16, 4:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 18, 10:30 a.m.
  • Friday, March 23, 4:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 28, 4:30 p.m.


  • Tuesday, February 13, 4:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 21, 4:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, March 7, 4:30 p.m.
  • Saturday, March 17, 9 a.m.

Saint Paul

  • Sunday, February 4, 10:30 a.m.
  • Monday, February 26, 4:30 p.m.
  • Sunday, March 18, 10:30 a.m.



If you have questions about Project Purpose, 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