Ilovemydogsomuch, it is a harsh reality that many shelters are overworked and have to euthanize dogs if they are not adopted in time. One of the main reasons why many dogs in shelters do not find homes is because they are “shy” or “hostile”. These dogs have a history of abuse, neglect or deprivation, making it even more difficult for them to come out of their shells.
With a promising program run by the Humane Society of Missouri, dogs in shelters now have the opportunity to socialize in the best way possible! This unique initiative, called the Shelter Friends Reading Program, gives children between the ages of 6 and 15 the opportunity to educate shelter dogs by reading their favorite stories to them!
The first meetings of this program were very impressive. When children read books in soothing voices and interact with the dogs, their behavior is positively reinforced and the shy dogs feel safe and accepted. As the dogs become more understanding and “adoptable”, the children learn the subtleties of a shelter dog’s body language. A win-win situation!
Due to the success of the program, the shelter has made the reading part of their annual Christmas celebration. Known as “Deck The Howls”, this event gives children the opportunity to make adoption cards and other items for their new furry friends. It would be great if all shelters could create similar programs for their “unwanted” dogs!
Watch the video below to see the children’s joyful encounter with the lonely dogs at the shelter!