The Humane Society of Missouri has just launched a new program. Kids are practicing reading to shy shelter dogs. The processing of reading gets the dogs out of their shell and they get used to people being around. Statistically, dogs stand a greater chance to be adopted if they run up to the front window to greet people.
“We started this for two reasons,” JoEllyn Klepacki, the assistant director of education at the Missouri Humane Society, told ABC News today. “Dogs in a shelter environment exhibit a lot of signs of anxiety and show stress signals, so we wanted to do something to comfort them, and we have a lot of children in our area who are really engaged and they ask, ‘How can I help? How can I make a difference?'”
The books are brought from home by the children or they can borrow one from the shelter’s extensive library of animal-related books. The kids are also giving the dogs treats if the dog shows interest in what the kid is doing.