Courtesy Missouri Humane Society
The Human Society of Missouri is offering a program that has both tongues and tails wagging. The Shelter Buddies Reading Program teams a student with a kenneled dog, allowing a child to read aloud to an appreciative pup. The exercise inspires the child, who gains confidence in his or her reading abilities, while socializing the dog, who begins to feel more comfortable around humans.
The dogs are able to adjust to the human presence and many will move slowly to the front of the kennel, where the student will reward the dog with a treat or two. JoEllyn Klepacki, assistant director of the Humane Society of Missouri, says the goal of the program is to have the dog sitting directly in front of the child by the end of the reading session.
Dogs that come to the front of the kennel get adopted quicker and children benefit from reading to a nonjudgmental, unconditionally loving audience.
To learn more about this program, or to start a Shelter Buddies Reading Program at your local animal shelter, call 314-951-1579, or go to HSMO.org/education.