The cutest book club: children reading to orphaned dogs at animal shelters

A new idea is spreading to instill a love of reading in kids and help shelter animals find their forever families. The Humane Society of Missouri recently launched a new program that animal shelters around the country should copy: bring in children to read to the dogs up for adoption. In a similar vein, children can now “Read to the Paw” with cats at the Iowa City Animal Care and Adoption Center.


It’s a win-win idea that fosters a love of reading, volunteerism, and empathy skills in the children—all important to child development—while calming and soothing the animals. The experience also allows the kids to practice “presenting” to the friendliest audience possible. The pups benefit too, as being read to by the children makes them more comfortable interacting with people. That’s valuable socialization as they wait for their future forever families.

As The Dodo reported:

Though the reading program has only recently been launched, Klepacki says it’s been successful in helping dogs find forever homes.

Best of all, kids in the area are as excited as anyone about getting involved; sign-ups have been through the roof.

For video, check out the Humane Society of Missouri’s recording of the holiday Deck the Howls event here.