MHHS is dedicated to educating the public about its role in animal welfare in our community, and suggesting ways you and your group can help the homeless, neglected and abused animals of the Capital Region. Shelter tours are scheduled in advance, and are conducted Monday through Friday, 11am-4pm. Off-site visits are scheduled according to the availability of MHHS staff or volunteers.
If you are a teacher, scout leader, counselor or other representative and would like to schedule a shelter tour or off-site visit for your group, please e-mail with the following information:
Daytime telephone number
Name of organization
Age range of your group
Number in group
Are you requesting a shelter tour or a visit to your site?
Your site location
What you would like your group members to gain from this experience?
What you can expect from a shelter tour:
Children's groups are shown an age-appropriate video about responsible pet ownership, which lasts around 30 minutes, then a staff person or volunteer will guide your group through the cat and dog adoption areas. With age-appropriate questions and answers, your group will learn how and why the animals arrive at the shelter, what type of care we provide to them and how adoptions work. Depending upon the age of the group, we will discuss issues such as animal overpopulation, the importance of spaying and neutering all pets, and the issues of animal abuse and neglect. The tour should take about an hour.
What we ask of you:
The animal shelter is a very busy place with many activities taking place at one time, from animal care to customer service. Unlike our pets at home, shelter animals are stressed, confused and frightened. We are committed to making their stay here as comfortable and stress-free as possible. We are also committed to maintaining a professional, customer friendly environment.
Groups must be limited to six people in either adoption room at any one time. We ask that you prepare your group members by asking them to refrain from making sudden and loud noises, and from touching the animals. Visitors must keep their fingers out of the kennels. Please ask your group members to be courteous and soft-spoken while listening to the guide and visiting the animals.
Just as we humans spread colds and viruses at work and at school, so do animals here at the shelter. We do everything we can to limit the spread of disease. IF A VISITOR TOUCHES AN ANIMAL, HE/SHE MUST DISINFECT HIS/HER HANDS. There are hand sanitizer stations throughout the shelter.
Please make sure your group is adequately supervised. We do not want to jeopardize the welfare and safety of the animals, staff, volunteers or visitors. We appreciate your full cooperation in order to make your visit fun, educational, and safe!
What you can expect when we visit you:
We will do our best to accommodate your requests. We typically bring one well-behaved shelter "alum." Some of our Humane Education volunteers have certified therapy dogs they bring along. It is best that you prepare your group ahead of time, using some of the information in the section above, "What we ask of you." Group members should listen carefully as the speaker teaches them how to safely approach an animal. Group members must not crowd or startle the visiting animal, but ask to gently pet the animal, one at a time, when appropriate. It is suggested that group members, or a leader on behalf of the group, have a list of prepared questions to ask their visitor. This especially helps young children stay focused.
Many groups ask what they can collect to help us care for the animals. You can find donation ideas on our wish list.
Thank you for your interest in our Humane Education program. We look forward to receiving your request for a shelter tour or off-site visit.