What is Humane Education?

Humane Education is defined as “a process that encourages an understanding of the need for compassion and respect for people, animals, and the environment and recognizes the interdependence of all living things.” Through interactive lessons, activities, and time with animals, humane education offers youth the unique opportunity to develop and explore ideas such as responsibility, empathy, justice, and moral character.

Humane Education teaches youth that animals are living beings with feelings and should be treated with respect and compassion. If we can teach students about kindness and compassion early in their lives, the chances are greater that those values will continue throughout the rest of their lives. Youth learn to value the choices they make and the impact of those choices on all living creatures in our world. These values carry on to other areas of their lives and the care of our community.

Teaching youth to have empathy is essential to raising caring and compassionate human beings. Through Humane Education, youth can explore how their actions matter and that they can make a difference in demonstrating kindness to all living beings.

Our programs are taught by a Certified Professional Humane Educator. We offer both onsite and offsite classes. Topics can be selected from our catalog or be tailored to support curriculum for your group’s interests.  Many of our programs can include a visit from one or more of our Certified Therapy Dogs (per availability).

Humane Education Programming Available 

(select each below to learn more)
Shelter Tours

We are located at 20950 Enterprise Avenue in Brookfield, WI. Shelter tours include a presentation and an educational walk through of our adoption areas where children learn more about pets and our organization’s role in the community. We offer interactive learning and can accommodate a maximum of 14 participants; we request 2 adults for every 6 students.

Girl Scout and Boy Scout Groups

We offer fun, interactive, animal-themed programming to help scout troops earn their awards or badges. Programming can take place at the shelter or at your meeting location. The program may include a visit from a member/s of our Therapy Dog Team (pending availability).


We provide educational activities for 4-5 year-olds on topics that engage children in learning about animals in need and staying safe around pets.
Topics include the following:

  • Pet/Not a Pet
    Students will identify the difference between a domesticated and non-domesticated animal. Students will also understand that EBHS is an animal shelter that provides care for pets until they can be adopted.
  • Pets and Their Homes
    Students will identify the different homes for various pets and learn about responsible pet ownership. Students will also understand that EBHS is an animal shelter that provides care for pets until they can be adopted.

We offer a wide range of classroom programs.
Click here to see our full offering.

School and Community Service Projects

We will try to work with students needing to complete school and community projects.  Click here to see more information. 

RedRover Readers

Our Humane Educator is certified in the prestigious RedRover Readers program, a unique and innovative story-based curriculum that teaches empathy skills and helps students discuss responsible decisions. The program helps children develop the steps necessary for empathy: recognize human and animal emotions, share emotions, and regulate emotions.

RedRover Readers can be presented in one session or in up to five sessions and is ideal for children ages 5-12. The lesson involves reading, discussion, and an activity that reinforces concepts such trust, respect, and friendship. The high-quality books highlight the human-animal bond, depict accurate animal body language, and promote empathy for animals and people.
Please contact us to schedule a RedRover Readers lesson with your group!

Cost of Humane Education Programs

We kindly ask for a minimum donation of $40 per program hour (or $5 per program participant) or comparable items from our Humane Education Wish List below.

How to Register for a Humane Education Program

Please make your reservation 5 to 6 weeks in advance of your program date. To register for a program, complete the humane education request form by clicking here.

Humane Education Wish List

Here is a list of items that make a difference for the homeless pets in our care:

  • Grain Free canned and dry dog and cat food
  • KMR or other 1st step kitten milk replacer
  • Hot dogs (to use for dog treats/medicine)
  • Cheese Slices or Squeeze Cheese (to use for medication/training)
  • Tuna
  • Peanut Butter (without xylitol)
  • Dog and Cat toys
  • Dog and cat (soft) treats (grain and dye free only)
  • Churu Cat Treats (grain free, lickable)
  • Timothy Hay 
  • Paper towels
  • Disinfecting wipes
  • Bleach
  • Laundry detergent
  • Gift Cards (Target, Pet Supplies Plus)

Year-Round Youth Programs at the Shelter

Kindness Club

For youth ages 7-12. Meets throughout the school year to explore a variety of animal-themed topics. Youth can enroll in one or multiple sessions.

Kindness Camp

For youth ages 7-14.  Camps are offered in the spring, summer, and winter.  Sessions range from two-hour to five-hour sessions.

Kindness Council

For youth ages 10 and up.  Youth who have completed at least one Kindness Camp are eligible to join this unique opportunity to explore ways to help animals in need and put ideas into action to make a difference!

Kindness Academy

For youth ages 10 and up.  In this special three-session course, youth will explore a specific topic in animal welfare.  Different topics are offered throughout the year.  Perfect for young people interested in careers in the pet industry!

READ to Me™

For young readers ages 4 and up.  Offered throughout the year at the shelter and EBHS partner schools.  Youth can enjoy reading to one of our Certified Therapy Dogs for a one-on-one or small group sessions per availability during the school year. 

Virtual Learning Bundles

Looking to provide Humane Education in a virtual setting?  Our popular “Learning Bundles” offer schools, scout troops, and parents the opportunity to have their youth explore a variety of topics including animal care, dog training, cat behavior, and more! Our learning bundles include a lesson plan, YouTube videos, supplemental hand-outs, and DIY activities. With a donation to our organization, a virtual learning bundle can be emailed to you – great for Badge programs and High Interest Days!

How to Register for Year Round Youth Programs

To register for one of our year round programs, please click here.

Donations to Our Humane Education Program

We are a small shelter with a goal to increase our outreach programs to youth in the community. As a local, independent organization, we rely on individual donations, not support from government agencies or national animal welfare groups, to protect the animals in our community and to continue the education of our youth to work towards a kinder world for our 4 legged friends.   If you would like to help us on this mission, you can donate items from the list above or our full wish list (found under ‘Ways to Give’ on our website) or make a monetary donation.  Thank you for allowing us to provide humane education and supporting our efforts to make our community one in which kindness and empathy are extended to all!

Thanks to Ellen Becker Investment Group and WISN AM 1130 for featuring our humane education program, the great work of our volunteer therapy dog teams, and the work of the Alliance of Therapy Dogs in certifying teams to give of their time by volunteering as therapy dog teams in the community.  To listen to a recording of this show, please click here.

About Our Director of Community Education

Sheila Postotnik serves as our Director of Community Education, leading a variety of youth programs at the shelter and in area schools. As a Certified Humane Educator with over twenty five years’ experience working in youth programs, Sheila’s passion is education and outreach. Sheila enjoys creating interactive lessons for a wide range of groups ages pre-school to high school that build empathy, critical thinking, and character development. Sheila strives to deliver programs that allow students to explore the human-animal bond while building on their own thoughts and ideas of how to build a better world for animals.  Joining Sheila at many of her presentations is Sailor, her Certified Therapy Dog who loves meeting new people and helping spread the word on being kind to animals.

Sheila can be reached at