After School Advocates

Calling All Teens!

Do you love animals?
Do you want to make a positive impact on the lives of animals and people in your community?
Do you want to learn about different careers that allow you to work with animals?

If you answered “Yes” to these questions, then you might be the perfect candidate for The Anti-Cruelty Society After School Advocates program.

Program Description

The After School Advocates program gives teens ages 13-18 an opportunity to explore animal welfare issues with hands-on activities, lectures from professionals in the field, and a group advocacy project. During the program, students will gain valuable insights into the world of animal shelter operations, positive reinforcement training, animal careers, and animal abuse in the community while receiving informative presentations from professionals in a variety of animal-related fields. This limited admission, 4-week program takes place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays during the fall, winter, and spring. Each session also includes a service component allowing participants to not only learn about but also help animals in need. Participants will have opportunities to interact with shelter pets to reinforce learning components of this program, however direct service to these animals is not the focus.

Program Details

After School Advocates is offered three times per year. Sessions run in the Fall, Winter, and Spring. Classes are held at The Anti-Cruelty Society’s Education and Training Center at 157 W. Grand Avenue.  in Participants can receive up to 16 Service Learning Hours for participating.

Program Themes

Each session of After School Advocates covers a different theme relating to animal welfare. Interested youth must submit an application for each program session they wish to attend.

Fall 2021: Caring for Pets

Application Deadline: Sunday September 26, 5 p.m.
Program Dates: October 5–28 
Meets: Tuesdays and Thursdays (4:30–6:30 p.m.) 

Delve into the specifics of proper pet care, humane standard of care laws, the history of companion animal domestication, and more. Participants will work together to organize a donation drive to benefit the animals at The Anti-Cruelty Society. In this season, teens will have the opportunity to hear from various professionals from organizations who care for different species of animals, while learning about careers in pet care. 


Caring for Pets - Apply Now!

Winter 2022: Communicating with Pets

Application Deadline: Sunday January 23, 5 p.m.
Program Dates: January 31–February 23 
Meets: Mondays and Wednesdays (4:30–6:30 p.m.) 

Examine the psychology theories of conditioning and learning, and how they can impact our relationships with pets. Participants will learn how to read cat, dog, and bunny body language and how to use operant and classical conditioning to train animals and improve the lives of shelter pets. Discover careers in animal training through professionals from The Anti-Cruelty Society and other Chicago organizations. In this session, teens will have the opportunity to put what they learn into practice by enriching the lives of animals at the Society with an in-kennel training exercises. 

Communicating with Pets – Application will be available December 2021 

Spring 2022: Being a Voice for Animals

Application Deadline: Sunday April 24, 5 p.m. 
Program Dates: May 3–26  
Discover the ways that animal shelters help homeless pets, how laws have shaped our relationships with animals, and how community actions can save lives and make the world a better place. Participants in this session will complete advocacy and outreach projects to help find homes for the cats, dogs, and bunnies at The Anti-Cruelty Society. Teens will also learn about careers in Animal Advocacy from professionals at The Anti-Cruelty Society and other Chicago organizations.

Being A Voice for Animal – Application will be available March 2022 


Have questions? Email for answers regarding this or any youth program at The Anti-Cruelty Society!

The Anti-Cruelty Society's After School Advocates
Teen petting white dog at The Anti-Cruelty Society
Teen girl next to trifold project board