Tours & Education Outreach

The Vanderburgh Humane Society Humane Education Department offers programs for children and adults of all ages on a variety of topics. An important aspect of animal welfare is educating the public on responsible ownership and ensuring that our community’s children respect and appreciate animals. Pets arriving at our shelter and becoming homeless is the last step in a long line of problems. Our goal is to reduce the number of unwanted animals who need shelter in the first place. Humane education fills this very important gap.

We typically serve between 3,000 and 4,000 children annually through these programs!

Some types of agencies who regularly request programs include:

  • Schools (all ages)
  • Daycare facilities/preschools
  • Scout troops
  • Businesses
  • Church groups


Most programs are offered Monday-Friday by appointment. Saturday programs can be arranged with at least 2 months’ notice. Groups can be brought directly to our facility for onsite afternoon programs, or our Humane Education Department can bring a program to you offsite with more flexible morning, afternoon, & evening hours.

We offer the following programs:

“May I Pet Your Dog?”
What a dog needs, the safe way to introduce oneself to a dog, how to properly pet a dog, and when a dog wants to be left alone.
Preschool thru 6th Grade
Dog Bite Prevention
Encompasses safety procedures around dogs, from family pets to neighborhood strays.
Preschool thru Adult
Pet Care Responsibility
Teaches why & how to be a responsible pet owner for the life of the pet, be it a gerbil, dog, or anything in between.
Preschool thru 8th Grade
Recycling for the VHS
Explains how to help both the VHS and the environment by recycling unused home and office items.
1st Grade thru High School
Pet Overpopulation and Spay/Neuter
Helps students to understand the enormity of the homeless animal problem and the importance of spaying & neutering.
4th Grade thru High School
VHS and the Community
Explains the role of our Humane Society in the community and describes the programs we offer.
6th Grade thru Adult
Topic and Book Discussions*
Catered to fit in your curriculum. Education discussions of current humane issues or animal-related books (i.e. “My Life in Dog Years.”)

*requires 1 month’s notice
Middle School thru High School

At least two weeks’ notice is required for programs (*1 months’ notice required for Topic & Book Discussion requests.)

Contact us using the form below to inquire about a program!


The VHS offers group tours by appointment: Tours are normally scheduled Tuesday-Friday between the hours of 12:00-6:00 pm.  Special morning* or evening tours and additional days of the week are possible depending on staff or volunteer availability.  *Morning times can only accommodate Mini Tours since most of our animals areas are being cleaned and the animals are inaccessible during that time.  

We offer 4 different types of tours:

  • Mini Tour: Lobby only, showcasing adoptable cats & small animals (ideal for preschool & kindergarten-age children)
  • Basic Tour: Showcases all adoption areas and living quarters of the animals in our care, including dogs (ideal for 1st grade & up)
  • Basic Tour + Spay & Neuter Clinic: All adoption areas + Clinic tour (ideal for 4th grade & up) (maximum 25 people) (may include the sight of blood, needles, internal organs, and animals under anesthesia)
  • Behind-the-Scenes Tour: Explains the process animals go through from surrender to adoption (ideal for older children & adults only) (maximum 10 people) (may include the sight of needles)

Any type of tour can be accompanied by any of our educational programs. Tours can also include introductions to live shelter animals of a variety of species. A group shelter tour lasts approximately 1- 1 ½ hours depending on the number in attendance and if a program is included.

Please review the document below to best prepare your group in advance of a tour.

Tour Rules

Booking and Pricing

At least two weeks’ notice is required for most programs* & tours. (See below.) We ask for at least a $50 donation (exceptions can be made with prior approval) for most programs & tours to help offset departmental expenses and care for the education animals. Any program, whether onsite or offsite, includes an optional introduction to live shelter animals of a variety of species, including but not limited to dogs, kittens, rabbits, reptiles, rodents, and/or birds!

Please fill out the form below if you are ready to request a tour of our facility or an offsite program!

Program/Tour Request

For questions regarding tours or programs, please contact our Humane Education Coordinator, Cyndi Hoon Donley, at (812) 426-2563 ext. 206 or [email protected]

North Elementary School (Poseyville) Mt. Vernon Junior High School Girl Scout Troop 375 Education volunteer JoAnn with YMCA summer campers