Humane Education Programs at MSPCA Boston

Little Bookworms Story Time

The “Little Bookworms” story time provides an age appropriate activity that fosters a sense of responsibility and compassion in our youngest visitors, from those in strollers to those in preschool. We invite our community’s youngest animal lovers to join us with their adult counterparts for weekly story time. During the hour session, an animal-friendly short story is read to attendees, and we bring an adoptable animal into the room to visit. Registration for individuals is not required. $5 per family/group. 100% of proceeds goes to support the animals and the programs at the MSPCA Animal Adoption Center and Wish List donations are always welcome!

Story Time: Wednesdays from 10am-11am

Getting to Story Time

We host story time in the Education and Training Room at the MSPCA Boston Adoption Center at 350 S. Huntington Avenue in Jamaica Plain.  The Boston Animal Care and Adoption Center Education Room has its own entrance at the back of the MSPCA building. To get to the entrance drive past the first parking lot on your right when you enter the driveway. Follow the driveway until it ends and bear left. Continue past the first set of double doors to the Angell Animal Medical Center and past the second set of double doors which is the main adoption center entrance. Take a left at the end of the parking lot and you will see a set of gray stairs and railing leading up to the Education Room entrance.  We use this room for other activities in the mornings, so unfortunately we cannot open the doors sooner.

What We Read

The stories we read include fiction, non-fiction, and poetry.  Many have been awarded the Henry Bergh Children’s Book Award, which honors books that promote the humane ethic of compassion and respect for all living things.  If you have a great book in mind for the “Little Bookworms” story time, please share it with us!

Bringing a Group

If you are interested in arranging an alternative story time session to accommodate a large group, such as a preschool or kindergarten class, please register by calling 617-522-5055 and ask for Cindy.  If leaving a voicemail message, please leave a phone number and email where you can be reached.

A Volunteer’s Experience

One of our Little Bookworms volunteers has a blog where she recently wrote about her first experience at Little Bookworms. It provides a nice insight into the program. “As the room filled up with toddlers, infants, and adults, the birds suddenly relaxed and moved to the bars, the swing, the seed cups, whistling and calling out – to each other and to us. Suddenly we weren’t people staring here and birds frozen in fear there, but two communities appreciating one another, talking and connecting in ways you could barely see but could feel. The room got noisier and noisier and the leader clapped her hands so the people knew to settle in for a story. And the five green birds, they grew quiet, too, and stayed that way until the story’s end. Being with animals often reminds me of my perch in the grand schematic, which is good for the ego and lifts the spirit, kind of like wings.” You can follow along with Eliza in her experiences at the MSPCA and beyond on her blog
Please email any questions about the program to Cindy at


Other ways to Help

Hold a Supply Drive

One way you can help animals at the MSPCA is through donation supply drives. It takes hundreds of pounds of food and supplies to feed and care for the many animals the MSPCA takes in each year. We are always in need of the items from our wish list, as well as monetary donations to help us purchase equipment and supplies to keep the animals warm, fed, and healthy.
1. Set a time frame in which to collect donations, for example give it a week or a month.
2. Decorate posters and collection boxes to be displayed at your school, church, or community center. Be sure to get permission to put the collection boxes in the places you choose.
3. Distribute copies of the MSPCA’s wish list to people telling them where they can drop off their items and why the drive is important.
4. Wait for the items to start rolling in!
5. Be sure to nicely remind people about your drive throughout the time frame.
When your drive is over, drop everything off at the Boston MSPCA. Make sure to check for hours and directions. We can take a picture of you when you drop off all that you have collected for the animals and post it on our website!

Host a Lemonade Stand

We have an awesome stand ready for you to use! You can set it up near our Adoption Center entrance. Just bring their own cups and lemonade (and maybe even baked goods!). You will be able to see the animals up for adoption and see how things work at the shelter at the same time. It’s a fun way to raise money for the animals! We also have a cider stand and a hot chocolate stand for different seasons! Learn more.

Go on an Adoption Quest

Choose a shelter cat or dog and help them get adopted by telling your friends and family about them. Share their picture on Facebook, put out flyers around your local markets and libraries – get creative! When your animal gets adopted we will send you a picture of the animal with their new adopter! Just be sure to email to let us know about your efforts! If you know someone who needs advice on adopting a pet or information on pet care, encourage them to visit our website and our adoption center. They can also view pictures of our animals up for adoption online!

Post Flyers About Adoption Events

We always need help posting flyers for our adoption events and spay/neuter promotions in towns and cities around the Boston area. There are many animals in under-served areas that need our help, and you can take part in getting the word out! Volunteer groups can pick up a packet of flyers and go to town! Email and we can send you some flyers!

Dress up in a Dog or Cat Costume at our Special Events

Throughout the year we host special fundraising events where we ask folks to dress up in our mascot costumes (see attached picture) and raise donations outside our adoption center – you must be accompanied by an adult to participate – email to sign up to join our mascot list receive emails as events are scheduled.

Create a Cat Toy

Want to make some cats really happy?  This nifty, thrifty toy is a fun classroom project.  Not only is this imitation butterfly easy to put together, the materials are readily available.  You can give the entire batch directly to your shelter or have a sale and donate the proceeds.

Here’s What You’ll Need to Create Each Toy:
Here’s What You Do:

1. Securely wrap one end of the wire around the chopstick or dowel.  Then cover the wire with masking tape.  This will become the toy’s handle.
2. Tie the ribbon or twine onto the other end of the wire.
3. Slowly twirl the handle between your fingers.  Sort of looks alive, doesn’t it?   Because it mimics the motion of a cat’s prey, a kitty will pounce and stalk and sail through the air to “capture” it.
Courtesy of the APSCA’s Animal Land Website

Dog Biscuit Bake Sale

Selling homemade dog cookies is a yummy way to help the animals. After baking, package the cookies in bags with colorful ribbon to sell them to your neighbors or at local dog parks. The MSPCA can provide informational brochures to give out along with the cookies, so people can learn about the MSPCA at the same time. Be creative with the packaging or give the cookies a holiday theme (like Valentine’s Day) to make them more fun and festive.
Find a healthy dog cookie recipe on the Internet, at the library or use the following:

2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup cornmeal
6 tablespoons oil
2/3 cups water
1 cup peanut butter (optional)
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Roll dough to about 1/2 inch thick, then cut out shapes using your favorite cookie cutters. Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. (Recipe courtesy of the Peninsula Humane Society & SPCA)

Other Quick Ways to Help!