Let's face it. When most people look for dogs at their local shelter, they go for the first outgoing, loveable pooch they grow attached to. But where does that leave all of the timid dogs that were psychologically scarred before arriving at the shelter? To help these dogs work on their social skills, the Humane Society of Missouri created a program that makes shy canines more adoptable.
Here’s how it works.
First, the society’s Shelter Buddies Reading Program trains children to read a shelter dog’s body language. That enables kid’s to tell if a dog is anxious, shy, or stressed. If it is, the kid sits by its kennel and reads to it. And when a dog shows interest or relaxes, the volunteer tosses it treats as positive reinforcement.
The children’s calming voices relax the overly energetic dogs and bring shyer dogs out of their shells. The result is dogs that are comfortable around children and families again. And the program does this while also allowing kids to practice their reading skills in front of a non-judgmental audience.
What a brilliant idea! Especially since it gives new hope to dogs still suffering from previous abuse or abandonment.
Watch the video below to see these inspired children do their part to help shelter dogs at the Humane Society’s first annual Deck the Howls reading event.
Please share this story with anyone you know who cares for animals and would be happy to see the work the Humane Society of Missouri does to help neglected dogs find loving homes!
Newsner loves animals and believes in treating them with utmost respect. Please like if you do, too.