Teen Programs

Teens Making a Difference

Are you an animal-loving teen who wants to make a difference? Well, you’ve come to the right place!

Anti-Cruelty has been providing shelter and medical care to hundreds of thousands of animals since 1899. This is only possible thanks to hard-working, dedicated individuals who share a passion for helping animals and the people who love them. Volunteers have long been a backbone of Anti-Cruelty, providing much-needed assistance in every department to ensure that the shelter continues to operate smoothly and that the animals in our care stay happy and healthy while they wait for their forever homes. We encourage anyone—of any age—to volunteer! If you love animals and want to help, we have a number of different programs for you to participate in. 

Have questions? Email learn@anticruelty.org for answers regarding this or any youth program at Anti-Cruelty!


Virtual Opportunities

After School Crafting Club
Close your notebooks, put on your comfy pants, and join us for an After School Club! Whether you want to volunteer your time to help animals, or just have fun with like-minded peers, join us weekly for Crafting Club or Dungeons and Dragons Club! Click here to learn more and sign up!

LIVE! At Anti-Cruelty
Calling all classrooms, community groups, and youth clubs! Are you looking for an engaging activity for your group to learn more about animals and animal welfare? Look no further than LIVE! at Anti-Cruelty . This unique virtual program offers a behind-the-scenes look at some of the important facets of the work we do to help people and pets at Anti-Cruelty. Click here for details and more!

Service Projects

Anti-Cruelty offers a wide range of home and classroom-based service-learning projects. They are ideal for students in need of service-learning hours, scout troops looking to earn a badge or teachers in search of a classroom project. Each different project is worth a specific number of hours, but you can mix and match to suit your needs. 
Service Project Details

Veterinary Mentoring Program

Anti-Cruelty, in partnership with The University of Illinois College of Veterinary Medicine, offers an exciting program for high school students with a serious interest in veterinary medicine or animal science-related careers. The Veterinary Mentoring Program is an academic program that introduces students to the many areas of science that they will encounter in veterinary school. Students attend seminars one Saturday a month at which they explore various topics and learn how clinical science is used to diagnosis and treat injury and disease in animals. 
Veterinary Mentoring Details

Web Warriors

Whether you’re stuck at home or are simply looking for unique ways to learn and volunteer this program may be just what you are looking for. Explore animal welfare topics, and make a positive impact in your community through our Web Warriors program!
Read Web Warriors Details




In-Person Opportunities:


Junior Crafting Crew

If you’re looking for a one-day, on-site volunteer opportunity for your group at Anti-Cruelty, consider signing up to for a Junior Crafting Crew! This onsite program engages youth clubs or classes to help shelter animals in a practical way by crafting enrichment projects using common everyday materials. 
Junior Crafting Crews Details

Reading Buddies

Anti-Cruelty's offers a drop-in Reading Buddies program for visitors of all ages who are encouraged to sit with one of our designated Reading Buddy pets and read to them from their favorite book. This volunteer project helps keep adoptable pets relax in the busy shelter environment.
Reading Buddies Details

Shelter Service Day

Anti-Cruelty welcomes teens ages 13–17 to our Shelter Service Day! Join us for an evening of volunteering where we work to complete tasks and small projects that help animals and support staff. Come on your own, or together with family and friends. 

Shelter Service Day Details

Teens Who Care

This program aims to provide a hands-on volunteer experience for high school youth ages 13–17. Participants will help our animals find homes by performing supportive tasks throughout the shelter departments such as cleaning, animal socialization, administrative assistance, and more.

Teens Who Care Details