What could be better than a combination of children reading and dogs in shelter getting more socialised? This is what the new Shelter Buddies Reading Program plans to do.
The new program run by the Michigan Shelter for Dogs, plans to match children aged 6 to 15, with shy and scared dogs that are not comfortable with human presence due to violence they have experienced. Young children reading to them can help them calm down in the company of human, and thus get prepared from moving out of the shelter and into a home for them.
Children sit in front of the dogs kennels, positioned in a way that lets the dogs feel safe, but also close to humans. As the centre’s manager explains, “Ideally that shy and fearful dog will approach and show interest. If so, the kids reenforce that behavior by tossing them a treat.”
This method is equally beneficial for the dogs and for the children, as a child’s contact with animals makes them behave in a kinder and more compassionate way.
This video shows how great this idea is..