Community Programming

See our opportunities below! If you have any questions or want to inquire you can also send an email to donate@sdheartlandhumanesociety.com.

Book Buddies

Do you know who loves to hear you read? Our dogs and cats! Our Book Buddy program allows you to bring books and practice your reading skills with our shelter stars. Dogs and cats are excellent reading partners since they offer a judgment-free experience for the reader! If reading to dogs, we will go through a brief training at the beginning of your 1st volunteer session, where we will learn about dog behavior and appropriate ways to approach kennels. If reading to cats, we will teach you how to get cats out of their kennels and you can begin right away! 

Want to be a Book Buddy? Fill out the form here or call 605-664-4244 to get more information!

Doggie Day Out

Love dogs but cannot have one in your home due to renting, being a college student on campus, or family situation? Maybe you want to spend an afternoon away from the house and want company. Doggy Day Out is made for you! We have dogs that would love to spend a morning or afternoon away from the shelter. What you guys do together is up to you…with a few teeny tiny rules you need to follow!

Ready to take a dog out to the park, on a hike, car ride, or coffee shop? Call 605-664-4244 to set it up!

Elementary Field Trips & Educational Opportunities

  • Community Helpers - Animal Shelter Jobs

Animal shelters help communities in a variety of ways. We help house pets in emergency situations, find good homes for unowned pets, and help to keep pets in our community safe and healthy.

  • Animal Behavior / Body Language / Bite Prevention

Dogs and cats are not able to talk to verbalize their feelings and needs. They have to use other forms of communication to get their needs (physical and emotional) met. Teaching our kids to recognize an animal's body language, we can prevent bites and other injuries. We will also learn how to stay safe around strange dogs.

  • What do pets need?

Our pets cannot take care of themselves. They rely on their humans for all their basic needs. The kids will learn what it takes to be a good pet owner. They will also get to make a plan on how they will take care of their pets at home or an imaginary pet!

  • Read-ins

Our shelter pets love the attention (and treats) they get from our little volunteers. When coming in for a read-in, the kids will get a brief lesson on kennel safety then will practice reading to a shelter star (either a dog, cat, or small animal).

  • In-Person Visits

All of the lessons, except the read-ins, can be brought to you! If the space allows, we can also bring adoptable pets with us for hands-on practice on reading body language and appropriate ways to introduce yourself to an animal you have never met before.

Doggie Day Out!