MFOA Pet Club Program Expands to Include Community Centers

A few years ago, in an effort to develop a program to educate children about the importance of developing compassion, understanding, and consideration of other species, Maine Friends of Animals (MFOA) initiated its concept of a ‘Pet Club’ for students in grades three through six. To expand its reach MFOA included community center programming as part of the program to reach more Maine children between the ages of 8-13. The mission of a ‘Pet Club’ is to advance student and community education regarding the care and protection of companion animals. 

A key to a successful club is finding a lead teacher or community instructor to initiate the club. After that the program is ready made to go. A club information packet provides a working model complete with the guidelines that include an introduction, the club structure, school /community center involvement, issues, advisory committee, activities, and benefits in instituting the program. The lead teacher or instructor will also have a Information Form the provides a check list in establishing a ‘Pet Club’. 

Humane education is becoming an increasingly important aspect of a child’s preparation for contemporary society. According to several recent studies, preschoolers, who had a pet scored higher on an empathy test than those without pets. In addition, studies show that the richer the bond with a companion animal, the greater the child’s empathy towards animals in general, as well as toward other children. MFOA created its a ‘Pet Club’ program to facilitate such bonds, while also serving to educate children about the proper care and respect for animals.

We are ready to assist you in starting a ‘Pet Club’ in your elementary and/or middle school or community center. For more information in starting a ‘Pet Club’ contact the Pet Club Program Director, Sandy O’Rourke at  


Pet Club Issues
• Care for companion animals
• “Dogs chained for life”
• Local shelters
• Companion animal cruelty education
• Pets left in cars
• Spay/neuter education
• Feral cats / homeless pets
• Animal rescue groups
• Firehouse pet oxygen masks
• Animal welfare and laws protecting animals
• Pet food drop-offs for needy families
• Learning about other companion animals (rabbits, hamsters, ferrets. etc.)

Ten Steps to Forming a MFOA Pet Club

The MFOA Pet Club Program Packet is an organized guide to help you get your Pet Club up and running. It is designed to be a program ready to implement and a model that also realizes each club will have different issues and activities you may wish to pursue as a club. Below is a simple list of ten steps from the Program Packet in forming a Pet Club in your community or school. Contact us with any questions at or 207-781-2671

  1. Go onto the MFOA website or review this packet and/or contact MFOA for more information 
  2. Meet or Zoom with MFOA Pet Club Director to go over the program
  3. Contact appropriate school administrator / community program director for permission to organize and space for meetings
  4. Review the MFOA Pet Club program packet and begin to implement
  5. Find a location for your Pet Club bulletin board 
  6. Choose Pet Club Advisory Committee members   Note: MFOA will look to provide a MFOA supporter in your area to be the  ‘Animal Welfare Advisor’ on your committee
  7. Distribute Pet Club flyers and student applications in school / community center and on social media 
  8. Begin to consider which issues you want the club to consider
  9. Schedule class presentation by MFOA Pet Club Director With the Advisory Committee
  10. Choose five initial activities for the club to consider    




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