These Kids Reading to Shelter Dogs will Melt Your Heart

Grab a hankie and check out these amazing kids reading to shelter dogs, to help the dogs overcome shyness and anxiety.

Grab a hankie and check out these amazing kids reading to shelter dogs, to help the dogs overcome shyness and anxiety.

Anxiety is a common issue among dogs in animal shelters. Just spending time in a shelter can be traumatic for some dogs, and many dogs in shelters had a rough start, living with abuse or neglect. Dogs with severe anxiety are less adoptable, which just compounds the problem, because of the behavior problems that often go hand-in-hand with anxiety.

That’s where the Shelter Buddies program at the Humane Society of Missouri comes in.

Grab a hankie and check out these amazing kids reading to shelter dogs, to help the dogs overcome shyness and anxiety.

In the Shelter Buddies program, local kids read children’s books to anxious or shy shelter dogs. The program helps these dogs gain confidence and become more comfortable around people, and it helps the kids become better readers. It’s also gut-wrenchingly adorable.

Grab a hankie and check out these amazing kids reading to shelter dogs, to help the dogs overcome shyness and anxiety.

Seriously, grab a hankie and check out this video from their holiday Shelter Buddies event, where the kids read holiday stories to the dogs and made greeting cards for their kennels.

Don’t worry. The shelter isn’t putting these kids into a kennel with a dog and a book. Anxious dogs can be unpredictable, so the dogs are in a glass enclosure. This keeps the kids safe and helps shy and nervous pups feel safe, too.

Grab a hankie and check out these amazing kids reading to shelter dogs, to help the dogs overcome shyness and anxiety.

Reading to shelter dogs is not totally new. A Pittsburgh woman who lost her own dog of 14 years reads to dogs at her local animal shelter. There is also a program in Berks County, Pennsylvania where kids can read to shelter cats. That one is called Book Buddies and is organized by The Animal Rescue League of Berks County.

There’s some good evidence that reading to animals can help kids improve their reading skills. There’s even a program called Tail Waggin’ Tutors, which pairs up dogs and kids to help those kids with reading. The presence of a dog is calming for many children, which can help them move past the anxiety about their reading struggle.

One great example of this in action is a school in Holland, Vermont that brings in a therapy dog to help struggling readers. This is another case where reading to dogs is mutually beneficial. Pepper the dalmatian came from an abusive and neglectful situation, and spending time with these kids is helping him recover from that trauma while he helps the kids feel less anxious about reading. Here’s a video about Pepper:

If your kids want to get involved in the Humane Society of Missouri’s Shelter Buddies program, check out their website. You can sign your child up there to read to shelter dogs. You can also make a donation to support the shelter’s work.

All images courtesy of Humane Society of Missouri. Used with permission.

Related
Natural Remedies for Dog Anxiety6 Humane Ways to Help Your Dog’s Separation Anxiety

120 comments

Siyus Copetallus
Siyus Copetallusabout a year ago

Thank you for sharing.

SEND
Renae Gray
Renae Grayabout a year ago

This is so wonderful, great for both the kids and dogs! Kids get to brush up on their reading skills and dogs get to live.

SEND
BRUNA ZULIAN
BRUNA Zulianabout a year ago

Sweeeeeet for both, dogs and kids!

SEND
Valentina R.
Valentina Rabout a year ago

That's a lovely project and can only do good to dogs, but the most important thing is to stop killing shelter pets and find good homes for them.

SEND
Joy T.
Joy Tabout a year ago

Waiting for butterfly points to show up...

SEND
Joy T.
Joy Tabout a year ago

Wish we had something like this around here! (CA)

SEND
Cindy P.
Cindy Pabout a year ago

I didn't know there were such programs that helps out animals and children's alike. It's a great thing and should be a common ritual anywhere.

SEND
Melania Padilla
Melania Padillaabout a year ago

I just want to cry... This is wonderful, but, to see all those babies there without a home kills my heart! Sharing

SEND
Cindy W.
Cindy Wabout a year ago

Wonderful story. It makes my heart happy :-)

SEND
Jim Ven
Jim Venabout a year ago

thanks for the article.

SEND