An animal shelter in St. Louis has found out a unique way to help scared dogs. They have allowed kids to read to these scared dogs and help them get rid of their fear.
This program is not only beneficial to the dogs, but also to the kids.
This program is also increasing the chances of these dogs getting a new home, and the kids are also improving their reading skills.
1. Shelter Buddies Reading Program
This program, known as the Shelter Buddies Reading Program, is being carried out at the Humane Society of Missouri in St. Louis. Here, kids are allowed to read stories to dogs in the shelter. The kids can only read to the dogs and they have to sit outside the kennel, so they can’t physically interact with each other, which is actually a good thing, since these dogs are actually scared. Still, the human interaction will help the dogs get rid of their fear.
2. Aim of the project.
Jo Klepacki, the director, commented that this program’s main aim is to make these dogs more comfortable around humans, which also increases their chances of adoption.
She said that this program is a proof that even without physical interaction, we can help the shy and scared dogs become more positive and comfortable around humans. This was started last Christmas, and now this program is carried out once a month.
3. How it works
Children, aged 6 to 15, can join this program. They have to go through a training course before they can read to the dogs. This course will help them learn how to understand whether a dog is scared or not from its body language. They are also taught to give the dogs treats when the dogs are showing interest.
This program helps the shy dogs and puppies to feel more relaxed and comfortable around humans, which makes them much more adoptable.
However, energetic dogs can also benefit from this program – the kids’ reading makes them calm.Besides, the kids also learn important social values such as respecting animals.
Jo commented that she was quite surprised how effective their program has proved to be so far. She added that the kids will understand how to look at the world from a dog’s perspective and how friendly they are.