Affecting change, one mind at a time.

Humane Education Youth Programs Shelter Tours Potter Pet University Advocacy Contact

Education is the key to reducing the neglect, abuse and abandonment of companion animals and promoting respect for wildlife. Explore our programs committed to educating the public and supporting meaningful protections for animals.

Humane Education

Hands-on learning for any age.

Education is the key to reducing the neglect, abuse and abandonment of companion animals and promoting respect for wildlife. Explore our programs committed to educating the public and supporting meaningful protections for animals.

School Programs

School Programs

We offer a variety of programs designed to increase kindness and compassion towards animals, while reinforcing important academic skills. By engaging a child’s natural curiosity about animals, we encourage a love of learning and help students develop their own humane ethics so they become more responsible adults.

Explore Lesson Programs

After School Enrichment

After School Enrichment

Our weekly after school enrichment programs provide interactive, animal-themed activities to Newport County schools. Each program aims to foster a love of animals, while teaching compassion and respect for the world around them.

Pricing and Scheduling

  • After school programs are offered in weekly one-hour sessions for a fee of $7 per student per hour.
  • Program sessions can run for three to seven weeks.
  • Each class session can accommodate six to twelve students in grades K-5 and are available for one grade or two consecutive grade levels (i.e. grades 2-3, grades 3-4)

Explore Afterschool Enrichment

Reading Fur Fun

Reading Fur Fun

Reading Fur Fun helps improve literacy skills by giving students the opportunity to read humane-themed books aloud to dogs belonging to Potter League volunteers.

This free program is available for schools, libraries, and group homes, with everything provided except for the location. In schools, teacher-selected students spend 20-30 minutes reading to the dog. Sessions at libraries can be open to the public. The sessions can consist of 5-6 consecutive weeks, “3 Dog Nights” (3 evenings during a week), or weekly sessions.

Schedule Reading Fur Fun
Become a Reading Fur Fun Volunteer

Youth Programs

Educational. Ethical. Lots of fun, too.

The Potter League’s Youth Programs celebrate our community’s love for animals. Children are encouraged to get involved with the Potter League and our mission, while learning about safety, compassion, and respect for animals.

Camp Happy Tails

Camp Happy Tails

Camp Happy Tails is held every summer and during school vacations. Our hands-on program allows kids to explore behind the scenes at the Potter League with educational activities, games, and time spent with our shelter pets.

Explore Summer Camp
Explore Vacation Camps

Girl Scout Programs

Girl Scout Programs

The Potter League offers workshops designed especially for Girl Scout Daisies, Brownies, and Juniors. Girls will meet the animals at the shelter, learn about animal care and pet responsibility, and create a craft. A Potter League patch will be awarded to each participant.

Explore Details

Birthday Parties

Birthday Parties


Parties are better with paws.

The Potter League is a delightful venue for your child’s next birthday party. Each party is tailored to meet the individual interests of the birthday child. Activities include a craft, educational program, animal-themed game, and hands-on time with a pet or two!


Parties are available for children ages 5-10 years old. The party is designed for a maximum of 16 participants. This number includes the birthday child and any other child who wishes to join in activities. At least two adults are required to assist with supervision.


Birthday parties are generally held on Saturdays and Sundays at 11:00 am or 2:00 pm. Party scheduling is subject to availability.


Birthday parties are held at the Potter League, 87 Oliphant Lane, Middletown, RI 02842 in the Morris Education Center.


You provide the food and decorations; we provide the fun! Each 1.5 hour birthday party is tailored to the age and interests of the birthday child. A 1 hour program is provided by the Potter League Educator, and may include a craft, picture book, interactive activities, and meeting a furry friend or two. After the program, the last half hour is for celebration with food and presents. The host family may show up a half hour before the party to set up and decorate the room, and they should plan to stay about a half hour after the party to help clean up.

Make a Reservation

Poster Contest

Poster Contest

The Potter League for Animals hosts an annual “Be Kind to Animals Week” Poster Contest. Each year posters are designed around different themes promoting kindness and compassion towards animals. The competition is open to grades 2 through 12 as part of Be Kind to Animals Week, the first full week in May.

Learn More About Poster Contest
See Past Winners List
Contact Us About Poster Contest

Shelter Tours

Seeing is understanding.

We proudly offer free tours for school groups and youth organizations of our animal care and education center, with home-like animal housing. The Potter League's building has been LEED certified at the Gold level by the U.S. Green Building Council and the tour incorporates environmental education by showcasing the "green" features of the new facility.

See Tour Formats

Potter Pet University

Learn about all things animal.

Potter Pet University is a monthly lecture series about all things animal, usually held on the second Wednesday night of the month. From dog behavior to wildlife rehabilitation, each session brings in a new guest speaker and topic.

This Month's University Become a Speaker


Donations save lives. Advocacy makes change.

The Potter League is committed to supporting meaningful protections for animals. The Advocacy and Public Policy Committee was created to advise and assist the Potter League’s Board of Directors, staff and other committees in identifying issues of importance to the League and the community. By formulating research, communication, public education and advocacy plans, we create change for animals.

Animal Welfare Positions & Policies
These statements not only inform the public, our supporters, and our staff, but also serve as guide for Potter League for Animals’ Advocacy for laws and policies protecting animals.
Learn more.

Animal Welfare

When making decisions from policy to legislation support to animal care, we refer to the Five Freedoms for guidance. The Five Freedoms help to evaluate animal welfare and limit animal suffering. By looking towards each of the Five Freedoms, communities can assess the welfare of animals in human care, identify areas needing improvement, and enact changes to benefit animals.

The Five Freedoms Are:


Freedom from Hunger and Thirst: All animals require access to a nutritious diet and fresh, clean water.


Freedom from Discomfort: An appropriate environment must be provided, which includes a clean living space, protection from the elements, and a comfortable place to rest.


Freedom from Pain, Injury or Disease:Precautions should be taken to prevent illness and injury. When problems do occur, veterinary diagnosis and treatment should be as prompt and effective as possible.


Freedom to Express Normal Behavior: Animals should be given facilities adequate for the performance of behaviors typical for the species, including access to enough space and social companions where appropriate.


Freedom from Fear and Distress: Conditions, treatment, and handling should be designed to avoid stress or mental suffering.

What About Livestock?

The Potter League is proud to be a part of Rhode Island’s Livestock Welfare and Care Standards Advisory Council. The purpose of the council is to serve as an advisory body to the director of Department of Environmental Management and the General Assembly in making recommendations related to the overall health and welfare of livestock species. Animal care standards are currently being developed by the council for a variety of livestock species.

Cycle of Violence

Researchers and professionals in both animal welfare and human services fields have discovered a strong relationship between animal abuse and other forms of community violence, such as domestic violence, child maltreatment, and elder abuse. This species-spanning correlation is called “The Link”. Animal abuse can no longer be viewed as a one-time incident, but instead as a “red flag” that other family members in the household may not be safe. Through our advocacy efforts, we aim to break the cycle of violence that often touches multiple family members and spans generations.

Child Maltreatment

Animal Abuse

Elder Abuse

Domestic Violence

Learn More About The Link


Our mission is educate and advise decision makers in federal, state, and local government to enact positive changes for the welfare of animals and the community. As we learn about new bills, we will share our support or opposition here.

Bills we support

House Bill No. S0083
House Bill No. S0160
House Bill No. S0225
House Bill No. S0779
House Bill No. H5023
House Bill No. H5062
House Bill No. H5075
House Bill No. H5246
House Bill No. H5297
House Bill No. H5433

Bills we oppose

House Bill No. H5436
House Bill No. H5849

Take Action

Writing to your representatives is one of the most effective ways to take part in in the process of improving laws for animals. Find your legislators here: www.vote.sos.ri.gov.

When writing or calling your representatives, always remember:

  • Keep it simple and specific.
  • Include your name and address, even on an email. Be sure to mention any professional credentials or personal experience you may have that relates to the subject of your letter.
  • Persuade with logic and facts, not emotion.
  • State what it is you want done or recommend a course of action.
  • Keep your letters to one page or less. If necessary, you can attach a fact sheet.
  • Check your spelling and grammar!
  • Be polite, courteous and respectful at all times, and thank the recipient for his/her consideration of your views.

Eleanor Hanson

401.846.8276 ext. 120