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!

The Anti-Cruelty Society 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 the Society, 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 teens@anticruelty.org for answers regarding this or any youth program at The Anti-Cruelty Society!


Teen Volunteer Opportunities


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

Reading Buddies

The Anti-Cruelty Society’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

Teens Who Care

This program aims to provide a hands-on volunteer experience for high school youth ages 13-18. 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

After School Advocates

The After School Advocates program empowers teens ages 13-18 to explore animal welfare issues that affect the Chicago community. After School Advocates gives participants the opportunity to gain valuable insights into animal shelter operations, positive reinforcement training, animal careers, animal abuse in the community, and animal advocacy, while learning from professionals in the field. This limited admission,  4 week programs takes place on Tuesdays and Wednesdays with three sessions per year.

After School Advocates Details

Shelter Service Day

The Anti-Cruelty Society welcomes teens to our Shelter Service Day! This unique volunteer opportunity occurs one Thursday per month from 4:30-6:00 p.m. Use your crafting skills to create toys and beds for the animals at The Anti-Cruelty Society so that they can stay cozy and happy while they are in our care. 

Shelter Service Day Details

Junior Crafting Crew

If you’re looking for a one-day, on-site volunteer opportunity for your group at the Society, 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

Service Learning Projects

The Anti-Cruelty Society 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 amount of hours, but you can mix and match to suit your needs.Service Learning Project Details

Veterinary Mentoring Program

The Anti-Cruelty Society, 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

Chicago City of Learning

The Anti-Cruelty Society is a proud partner of Chicago City of Learning, a groundbreaking initiative that joins together learning opportunities for young people in a way that allows them to think about, pursue, and develop their interests. Participants in CCOL can earn digital badges to represent accumulated knowledge and skills from programs at different organizations. By being a part of the After School Advocates at The Anti-Cruelty Society, you can earn multiple digital badges to show off your knowledge and efforts! 

Chicago City of Learning Details