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Back by popular demand! Animal Tales is a program in which children ages 4-12 can come and read to animals in the East Side shelter!

Participants attend an orientation to learn all about our HARP shelter, the domestic animals here, and the keys to observing animal behavior. Once they attend an orientation, they can sign up for as many or as few assigned dates to come read to the animals! Children can bring their own books (or choose from our collection), grab a carpet square, and then read to animals whose kennels are marked with a “Read to me next!” sign.

This program not only helps to socialize the animals in our shelter to help expedite their adoption, but also helps children improve their confidence and literacy as well.

Registration is through our online Active Network software. See the dates for this year below:

Dates | Times for ORIENTATION

  • January 30 (Sunday) – 2:30-3:30 p.m.
  • February 2 (Wednesday) – 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • February 6 (Sunday) – 2:30-3:30 p.m.
  • March 1 (Tuesday) – 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • March 17 from 5:30 – 6:30 pm

Dates | Times for READING

  • February 8 (Tuesday) – 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • February 21 (Monday) – 5:00-6:00 p.m.
  • February 24 (Thursday) – 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • March 10 (Thursday) – 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • March 21 (Monday) – 5:00-6:00 p.m.
  • March 22 (Tuesday) – 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • April 12 (Tuesday) – 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • April 18 (Monday) – 5:00-6:00 p.m.
  • April 28 (Thursday) – 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • May 12 (Thursday) – 5:30-6:30 p.m.
  • May 16 (Monday) – 5:00-6:00 p.m.
  • May 24 (Tuesday) – 5:30-6:30 p.m.


  • Orientation – $10 per child (one-time fee)
  • Each Reading – $7 per reading session
  • Punch Card Reward – After coming to seven of the reading sessions, the remainder of the sessions are free

Other notes:

Allergens: We do our best to make our programming a safe and inclusive space, but be advised that there may be allergens present on our facility (like pollen, animal dander, and nuts).

COVID Protocol: The safety of our community, patrons, and staff are very important to us, so we have a COVID safety protocol in place. Our safety protocol is guided by recommendations from the CDC and includes:

  • Masks to be worn at all times by everyone on the property (children, parents, staff)
  • Proper social distancing will be observed
  • Registration is limited to 20 readers per session
  • Staff will ensure proper and frequent sanitizing of surfaces and limiting shared materials

Accessibility & Inclusivity: We would like to offer one Monday reading session a month (in addition to the 2 other sessions) to provide for a more sensory-friendly experience (since there are less staff and no patrons on Mondays). This program is welcoming and inclusive of people of all reading abilities, so arrangements can be made for anyone 13-17 with learning delays.

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