Local animal shelters have enough camps to keep any animal lover engaged and learning this summer.

Camps at the Phoenix Herpetological Society, Arizona Animal Welfare League and the Arizona Humane Society give kids a chance to learn about animals hands-on and about the shelters that care for them.

Arizona Animal Welfare League & SPCA

15 N. 40th Place

(602) 273-6852, ext. 122


The Arizona Animal Welfare League (AAWL) will host Camp Ruffin’ It once again for ages 6 to 12. The week-long camp will introduce children to a variety of animals and explain the care each animal requires. Campers will learn about responsible pet care for iguanas, cockatoos, sugar gliders, snakes and more.

The camp will run from May 27 through Aug. 2. The cost is $275 for a full day of camp, and $175 for a half day.

Junior Animal Keepers is a camp designed for kids ages 12 to 15 to follow in the footsteps of animal professionals. Campers will participate in chores actual keepers perform every day to keep residents healthy. They will work with reptiles, small mammals and other areas of AAWL & SPCA. They’ll also develop skills to manage keeper records, food orders and learn the science behind the animal industry.

Junior Animal Keepers will be offered June 10-14 and July 15-19. The cost is $275.

Camp Vet, for ages 12 to 15, will be at two campuses this year. The week-long camp gives teens a preview into the life of a veterinarian. Campers will observe surgeries in the clinic, dissect organs, learn anatomy, view specimens under microscopes, practice hands-on pet first aid and explore how animal diseases can be very different from human diseases.

Camp Vet will be offered at AAWL’s Phoenix campus June 3-7, June 24-28, and July 22-26. It will also be offered at the Arizona Agribusiness and Equine Centers Red Mountain location, at Power and McKellips roads, June 10-14 and July 15-19.

Camp Vet costs $325.

Advanced Camp Vet for ages 12-17 is for teens who have previously attended Camp Vet. This accelerated Camp Vet dives even deeper into the world of veterinary science. Campers will work side-by-side in one-day rotations with veterinarians and veterinary technicians in AAWL’s Pet MD Clinic.

Advanced Camp Vet will be offered June 17-21 and July 8-12. The cost is $325.

Registration for summer classes is now open. All camps run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. with after care available from 4 to 5:30 p.m. The cost of after care is $50 for the entire week when paid in advance or $15 per day.

Arizona Humane Society

1521 W. Dobbins Road

(602) 997-7586


Camp Compassion will give children a peak into the life of a rescue animal. Campers select a shelter buddy for whom they dedicate their efforts — with the goal of finding that buddy a forever home. Kids will do crafts, activities and meet shelter animals, companion animals, farm animals, wild animals, endangered animals and service animals. Each camp day is dedicated to a pillar of character like trustworthiness, respect, fairness, caring and citizenship.

Session I of the camp runs June 11-13 and July 9-11. Session II is June 25-27 and July 23-25. Each session is three mid-week, half days to allow for other summer travel. Sessions are from 12:30 to 5 p.m. The first session of each month is different from the second so campers can attend both sessions in the same month or mix and match.

This year, Arizona Humane Society is also offering camps for teens. The first course in the Humane Ed-visor Leadership Intensives Series is about Behavior and Body Language.

Teens ages 13 to 16 will learn about the body language and behavior of dogs, cats, birds, horses, rabbits, rodents and more. Humane Ed-visor candidates will engage with and study animal visitors from local rescue groups and put their learning to practice with clinical observations of animals in the shelter.

Session 1 will be Tuesday, June 11 through Thursday, June 13, and Tuesday July 9 through Thursday, July 23. Session II will be June 25 to June 27, and July 23 to July 25.

Registration is now open.

Phoenix Herpetological Society

20701 N. Scottsdale Road, Suite 107

(480) 513-4377


The Phoenix Herpetological Society offers week-long camps for kids interested in reptiles and conservation. Reptile Encounters allows campers ages 9-14 to explore a different reptile species every day in classroom and field sessions. Campers will learn about reptile habitat, anatomy, life cycles, eco systems, proper handling, reproduction, venomous reptiles, endangered species and reptile myths.

Camp 1, for ages 9 to 11, will run May 27-31, June 10-14, June 24-28 and July 15-19. A tentative session is planned for July 29-Aug. 2. Camp 2, for ages 12 to 14, will be June 3-7, June 17-21, July 8-12 and July 22-26. Reptile Encounters costs $275 per person, per session.

Registration is now open.

• Contact writer: (480) 898-7914 or ahurtado@ahwatukee.com.

(1) comment


That's great... we get many, many customers that ask for referrals for Pet CPR & First Aid Classes. We sell some amazing Pet First Aid Kits - Dog 1st Aid, Cat 1st Aid, Horse Too, and even though they all come with outstanding and thorough Pet First Aid guides, some people just want the "hands-on" experience (after all, even if one knows human CPR and First Aid, our furry friends' anatomy is quite different.) Offering a class for kids is brilliant - after all, when a family has kids and pets, they are most often found together! http://www.first-aid-product.com/consumer/pet.htm

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