Adoptable Pets

This lesson is brought to you by Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter in partnership with teacher Kasey Brown. 

PDF version/See More Lessons


Do you like looking at cats, dogs and rabbits available for adoption? Then this lesson is for you! Learn about adoptable pets all over our country and what you can do to help them find homes.

Ages: 8 and older (parents might need to assist kids 10 and younger)
What you will need:  Access to the Internet, paper and a pen or pencil 
Optional: Home printer
Skills exercised: English (reading/research), critical thinking and math (estimation/organization), art and creativity (projects).
Duration: 45 to 90 minutes (not including Take Action projects)

Let’s get started! You may write your answers on a separate sheet of paper, or print out the PDF version of this lesson.


Without doing any research, guess how many homeless dogs, cats and rabbits there are within 10, 25, 50 and 100 miles of where you live.

Tip: To get an idea of how far these distances are, think of a store, restaurant or other place that is 10 (or farther) miles away. Now, imagine that distance in every direction from your house.

Record your guesses in the Estimates table below:

Within 10
Within 25 
Within 50
Within 100



Now, find out how many homeless pets there actually are.

Go to

Use your zip code (Alameda is 94501) to search for adoptable cats, dogs and rabbits within 10 miles, 25 miles, 50 miles and 100 miles of where you live.

Record your results in the Actual #s table below:

Actual #s
Within 10
Within 25
Within 50
Within 100



Based on your research at, write down your answers to the following questions:

a) Do there seem to be more of certain dog breeds than others that need homes? Which breeds?

b) Name some of the shelter and rescue organizations that are trying to help animals get adopted. (Example: FAAS, Cat Town, etc) 

c) Now, using, check some well-known cities in other states for adoptable pets. Are there pets that need homes in other parts of the country? 

d) What other observations or thoughts do you have as you look through


Search by shelter name, using each of the shelters listed below. Quickly look through the adoptable animals at each shelter. Write down the type of animal of which the shelter has the most.

- Friends of the Alameda Animal Shelter (FAAS)

- Cat Town Oakland

- Oakland Animal Services (OAS)

- Island Cat Resources and Adoptions (ICRA)

- Fix Our Ferals (Richmond)

- East Bay SPCA (Oakland and Dublin)

- Rocket Dog (Oakland)

- Muttville (San Francisco)


Do you want to help educate others and help more adoptable pets find their forever homes? There are lots of projects you can do at home. You might even ask your local shelter if you can visit to take pictures or videos of an animal. Read on for some project ideas!

Mini Projects For You

> If you like to draw or make art, make a poster and share it with friends. It could feature specific animals available at the local shelter, general information about shelter pets, or even a decision tree. The posters above were made by Wood Middle School students. 

> If you like to use technology, create a slideshow or short video of a pet that's available for adoption.


If you are younger than 13, ask your parent to share your video on social media.

> Create quizzes to help educate your friends.

For example, write 10 “True or False" questions, such as, "There are more Chihuahuas in animal shelters than any other breed of dog." 

You can make the quiz harder by asking your friends to provide answers. For instance, “Name an organization that helps senior pets.” (Muttville is one.) Use your research to create the questions.

Use Kahoot or Quizlet to create your quiz online, or simply write your questions on paper and make copies to give to friends.


> Stage a home scavenger hunt for your family.

Make a list of interesting facts that you've learned during the PetFinder lesson.

Hide each fact around your home and provide a clue to each secret location.

Whomever collects the most facts wins!

Come up with your own idea to promote the adoption of pets and do it!

About Kasey Brown

Hi! I’m Kasey Brown, a teacher in Alameda, California. Besides teaching math, I also teach an elective class called Animal Care & Welfare at Wood Middle School. Our class learns about companion animals, including cats, dogs and rabbits, and important topics, such as spay/neuter, pet overpopulation, and puppy mills. Guest speakers have talked about working dogs, feral cats, rabbit rescue, greyhounds and lots more. As part of our class, students complete self-chosen projects in small groups to educate and take action that help animals.

We'd like your feedback. Email We would also love to see the posters or other artwork you made for these lessons. Want more online lessons? We'll add more soon. 

© Kasey Brown/ and

Copyright © 2024 Friends of The Alameda Animal Shelter.