Calling all young pet lovers! Whether you child is curious about cats, or dedicated to dogs, Critter Camp campers have the opportunity to learn while connecting with the animals and discovering how our animal care center helps the animals of our community.

2022 dates for Critter Camp are set!  

Questions? Email Joel Aikens at [email protected] or call (208) 265-7297 ext. 103.

2022 Schedule: 

  • Session 1: June 13-17 ( Ages 6- 9)
  • Session 2: June 20-24 ( Ages 10-12)
  • Session 3: July 18-22 ( Ages 6-9)
  • Session 4: July 25-29 ( Ages 10- 12)

Camp Location:
Better Together Animal Alliance 870 Kootenai Cutoff Road
Ponderay Idaho 83852

Camp days/time:
Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.

Enrollment Opening Soon 

Pre-registration is mandatory and early registration is encouraged

Campers ages:
6 years old – 12 years old

One week-long session of Critter Camp is $150.00 per camper

All enrollment forms and payment must be completed prior to the camp start date. If you’re interested in learning about Critter Camp scholarship opportunities or need assistance with payment contact Joel Akins. 

For more information, please contact Joel at [email protected].org or (208) 265-7297 ext. 103


The objective of the Book Buddy reading program is to provide a relaxed and judgment-free “cat-friendly” environment, which allows children to practice their reading skills. Many children have difficulties reading and as a result, become self-conscious and lose confidence.By reading to a cat, all worries about being judged are put aside. The child relaxes, pets the attentive cat, and focuses on their reading. Reading improves because the child is working on their reading skills, self-esteem grows with earning stars and finishing books, and reading becomes associated with a pleasant, fun adjunct activity.

Reading to animals was tested at UC Davis’s School of Veterinary Medicine with wonderful results. Reading fluency improved as much as 30% and 75% of parents reported that their children read more frequently and with greater confidence.


Each participant in the Book Buddy program has their name put on our participation board located at our cat lobby entrance. For each book the participant reads and completes, a sticker is placed on the participation board next to their name. When a child completes 16 books they are rewarded with a $5.00 credit that they can spend at our thrift store. Children may bring their own book from home or borrow one of the animal care center’s books which are located at the entrance to the cat lobby. We require that a parent accompany their child if the child is under 10 years of age.

Our animal care center and animal shelters in general can be a stressful place for animals. Reading out loud to them can help reduce some of the stress they experience while with us. Not only that, but animals provide a space of judgment-free unconditional love that we all need. Not only is this program great for a child to practice their reading, but what a great way to practice a new language or for anyone who loves to read and wants to snuggle a cat.

For more information, please contact Christi at [email protected] or 208-265-7297 ext. 103