Girl Scout visit to the Humane Society

Girl Scouts Visit the Humane Society


bunny in basket

This bunny probably represents how all the animals at the San Diego Humane Society felt when we came with our Girl Scout troop to visit them and do a little photo shoot…..which is “let me try to sneak out of here and not be a part of this craziness!”  But, just like all the other animals, the bunny  was placed BACK into the basket for more unsolicited modeling.

The idea to volunteer my photography skills to the humane society stems from my own kids desire to be around animals. How do I let them interact with animals, without actually having animals live at my house?

So I contacted some people at the humane society and found them willing (and actually excited!) to have us come to the shelter and photograph some animals in exchange for some cuddle time with the girls. In my head I imagined the girls primping the animals, brushing their hair, setting the stage… was so magical. In reality, it was all hands on deck, blocking the edges of the tables so small animals didn’t launch themselves right off it in an attempt to get away from the fluff and the baskets and the camera snapping in their face. There is nothing glamorous about modeling.


The dogs up for adoption were not really available for the photo shoot, because it was impossible to guarantee that they wouldn’t act out, possibly get nervous, and maybe bite. We didn’t come down there looking for a hospital admission or a lawsuit to follow our visit, so we stayed away from the big animals with teeth. As you will see, there were a couple little dogs who got in on the action. And one of them I believe, doesn’t even HAVE teeth anymore! So that felt pretty safe.


We stuck mostly with the small animals (who could fit into baskets) and who weren’t a biting risk. This means, rabbits, guinea pigs, RATS! Yes, rats. I joked that I can’t take pictures of rats, they will break my camera. I had no desire to take photos of rats. I didn’t want to see them, touch them, let alone try to focus on them and make them look cute. I was in the minority though. So luckily, I had no physical contact with them, but did watch in horror as they crawled all over my daughters. I was told over and over again how intelligent these creatures are. I suppose that is true, but I still am not interested in having one, touching one, or getting any closer to one than I did that day. I hope these rats all find good homes. And I hope photos of them climbing all over the Barbie couch I brought from home will help. Because Lord knows, I will not longer touch that Barbie couch anymore either.


gray bunny in pink basket

So my troop co-leader Lyn does not like dogs. Even this tiny dog named Frankie. Yet when a volunteer was sought out to hold this little guy for a few minutes, Lyn was somehow volun-told to do it. She did great. And in this photo she even looks happy to hold him. I didn’t capture a photo of how quickly she handed him back when her job was over, but I think Frankie won her over nonetheless.  He certainly won over the hearts of every single girl scout! They fawned over him like they were paid to do so. They adored him. He looks tiny right? Like a little newborn puppy? He’s actually something like 80 years old. I’m obviously exaggerating here, but he’s old. Super old. Like, if you only want to have a pet for a few months or a maybe a year, you should adopt this guy.  I seriously considered that for a few minutes, but I think the list is long to get this little guy adopted. He’s in high demand….and that’s only talking about the people who work at the humane society! I would have scooped him up quickly too if I had the chance, I don’t like small dogs, but I sure did like him! (this is also the guy who possibly has no teeth left)

He hobbled around the circle of girl scouts in true old man fashion…hunched over and wobbly. But in truth, he does very little walking. When not shoved into a basket, he was usually in someone’s arms. They loved this guy. Definitely a fan favorite, and most likely has found his “forever home” by now!

How can you not love a dog who already woofs you?
Pretty sure when you don’t have teeth, your tongue always hangs out. Makes Frankie look even more puppy-like, and made him even more endearing.

chihuahua at humane society

For those of you who are not dog people, look closely. We’ve moved on to a different tiny dog. Frankie is a chihuahua, this next little guy is a Yorkie.

Oh man, I hope I’m right with my breeds here….I’m starting to question if they are who I say they are. I think I’m right, but honestly, if you’re headed to the humane society to go adopt one of these cuties, maybe check the lineage yourself before you buy.

This little Yorkie (or so we will call him), has a crazy life story himself. There was an older couple in Arizona who were discovered to have almost 100 Yorkies in their house, and they were not getting the care they needed. The couple thought they loved dogs, and were caring for them by loving them, but obviously, an elderly couple should not have over 90 dogs in their house! So they were rescued and removed, and at the time of the photo shoot they were getting their health checks and their paperwork in order, to become adoptable in the near future. So this little guy made a special appearance on behalf of his dozens of brothers and sisters to represent the family.  He was nervous, but so, so cute. In an effort to help him stay happy we kept him wrapped up in a blanket in someones arms and I just photographed him tight and close. I wish you could see how tiny he was, but just look up at that Chihuahua again, and you will have a reference point.

I feel like this little pup needs a barette for his facial hair. I feel bad he has to peer through strands of hair that are growing crazy off his nose and face! But I also want to grab that little face and kiss it he’s so cute!

yorkie puppy in pink blanket at humane society



How many of you were tricked by the same pink and white zebra blanket scrolling through photos? I kept scrolling down myself, expecting to see yet another Yorkie close-up, when suddenly I focus on this little brown lump!

He’s cute, I shouldn’t call him a little lump. But it was just not what I was expecting to see. My sister and I had guinea pigs growing up. They are sweet. They are a nice combo of low maintenance and fun. I’m not sure how trainable they are, I don’t think we ever invested much time in trying to train them, or learn about them. But they are fun to pull out of their cage and pet. They are one of those animals who “just takes it”. That is a good first pet for kids. Not sure this is a glowing endorsement for guinea pigs, but they really are cute. And low maintenance. Let me reiterate that… THAT is what makes them a good first pet!


The “two finger petting” that I guess guinea pigs enjoy. 🙂

Ok. Here we go.

The rats.
I know one of my friends has just shut down her computer, screaming at me I’m sure, that there were pictures of rats on here and she wasn’t warned. I think she has a true phobia. And this photo is not going to help. Especially since it’s my daughter holding the rat. Not sure either one of us will be invited into her house ever again.

But that is not most of us. Most of us just think rats are dirty and disgusting, but don’t need to shut our computers down because of this. The ladies at the Humane society did their best to try to convince me otherwise. They are smart! they say. They are actually very clean! they claim.  They make the BEST pets! they swore.

I was swearing too.

I am cringing inside having to look at these pictures again. Did my own kids have to get so involved with the rat care? ewwwughh…

She is just LOVIN that little spiny hand crawling up her arm, isn’t she? That is no child of mine!  So much for the “rat purses” anyway. That may be the ONLY way I ever held a rat. If it was secured down in the bottom of the purse. But those rats did not care to be tucked away, they climbed right on out of that purse and right up onto unsuspecting bodies.


For those of you who don’t mind rats as pets, you probably won’t care about this. However, if you are on the tipping point, this may tip you right over the edge of gross. This little rat is missing an eye. That’s right. He’s not winking at me with his left eye, it’s actually missing. That missing eye, combined with those tiny little claw hands… rats as pets please.

But again, the GIRL SCOUTS DON’T CARE!!!! That is why kids are SO amazing. They are still so accepting and so interested and curious, they do not question what is right and wrong. So to me, holding a one eyed rat is so so wrong. But to these 10 little wonder-filled girls, it was nothing short of the perfect thing to do. Gotta love kids who give unconditional love to rats.

Case in point. Could she look any happier to have a red eyed rat inches from her face? No qualms here!

pet rat at the humane society on girls shoulder

Not enough rats for the number of hands that are willing to pet these little creatures! Who’d have thought I’d want more rats!?


Here’s old One-eye again. He’s kinda growing on me! I certainly don’t want to hold him. But he’s looking cuter in each picture I take.

Here’s my ruined Barbie couch. 🙂  I can’t seem to get myself to find anything cute about red eyes and that creepy tail.


white rat on pink Barbie couch





black bunny with a stuffed easter bunny

Oh my goodness!!! Hooray for cute bunnies!!! Such a relief to get through those rats and get back to cuteness!

Love how furry and fuzzy this guy is with his highlighted hair! Soft and cute with a fluffy tail….NOW we’re talking!

This photo shoot happened around Easter, hence the baskets and the eggs…we had a theme going. This guy fit in perfectly! It is sad to hear how many bunnies end up in the humane society after Easter is over. What seems like an adorable gift turns out to be more work than anticipated, and the bunnies are given up on. As the owners of a bunny for almost 3 years now, I can say that yes, the bi-weekly cage cleaning does get tiresome, but if you are looking for a small pet with a sweet temperament, this could be the animal for you. Turns out not all bunnies are as social as ours, so I recommend bunnies with some reservations, you should research your breed first. But if you get lucky enough to get a bunny like our little guy, get ready for a little 2 pound package of fluff who loves to be held and pet. The only thing that upsets him is when the petting stops, and then you’ll get a little (several) nudges to the hand to encourage you to start up again.

Bunnies. I love them.


Why doesn’t anyone want to stay in the basket???? And my photos make it look like there is slow motion sneaking out happening every time. I promise, they escape a lot faster than they make it look.

Another love bunny…..

This guy was gorgous!


Sizing up the competition.

Such a good sport. He’s no Easter bunny, but he’s willing to play one for the afternoon.


gray lop eared bunny with pink bunny ears


gorgeous gray lop eared bunny



girl scouts at humane societyThe final portion of our Girl Scout visit to the Humane society was getting to see this awesome little performance. This cute guy is a humane society ambassador and visits different sites to show off his agility skills. He was rescued by one of the Humane Society employees, and she taught him a bunch of tricks that the girls got to help him perform. He was really fantastic, and it was the highlight of our visit. I’m always amazed at these animals who can learn to do anything if you take the time to train them. Seaworld has a fabulous show with all sorts of (non-water) animals doing incredible tricks. They give a little disclaimer at the end stating all these animals were rescued. So it just goes to show, it’s not the amount of money you spend on the breed, or the pedigree he comes from, it’s the time you take to work with them.

I wish I had more time…..




A huge, huge thank you to the San Diego Humane Society for allowing our girl scouts to come spend the afternoon with all their wonderful animals! We got to interact with animals we don’t normally interact with, and everyone was happy to spend the day petting these sweet creatures.

I wish we could have all walked out of there with a newly adopted animal in our arms, but hopefully it will encourage someone down the road to go choose one of those special animals and turn their lives around by giving them a real home filled with love.


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