Reading Buddies

A Drop-In Activity for All Ages

Reading Buddies is a drop-in reading activity for all ages! Visitors can bring their own book, or use one of ours, to help pets relax in a busy shelter environment. This activity is best suited for small groups and families of no more than 3 people.  

Anti-Cruelty requires all youths aged under 18 to be accompanied by an adult parent or guardian during their visit.  

Getting Started:

No registration or sign-up is necessary for this activity, just visit our Welcome Center, Monday–Sunday from 12–6 p.m.   

When you arrive, check in with our Welcome Team to read to animals in one of our approved spaces. There, you will receive a reading kit to assist you during your stay. Your kit will include:  

  • Reading Buddies visitor badge  
  • Reading Buddies tip sheet  
  • Access to Reading Buddies ‘little library’  
  • Please remember to return your reading kit before you depart so the next Reading Buddy can use it!     

Additional Considerations:  

The availability of our reading spaces depends upon the daily activity level of our adoption center and is restricted to specific areas and pets. Our River North Adoption Center has designated reading availability inside the Small Animal and Cat Adoption Centers.  

We limit readers to groups of 3, or fewer. Please note that Reading Buddies is not part of our approved service program list. Youths interested in earning Service Hours for schools or youth groups should visit If you are a corporate group of adults interested in volunteer opportunities visit for available programs.  

This program is not intended for adults interested in fulfilling community service needs. If you require this type of service program please visit our Adult Volunteer Program page at

Locations and hours:  

River North Welcome Center, 510 N LaSalle St, Chicago, IL 60654  

Monday–Sunday from 12–6 p.m.*  

*Reading Buddies is subject to holiday schedule changes  

If you have any questions about Reading Buddies or other youth programs, email