It’s a bitter truth that many shelters are over capacity and they end up euthanizing their dogs if they fail to get adopted within the allotted time.
One of the primary reasons many shelter dogs fail to find homes is their “timid” or “unfriendly” personalities. These dogs have pasts scarred with abuse, neglect or deprivation, which makes it even harder for them to come out of their shells.
In a promising program launched by the Humane Society of Missouri, the shelter dogs now have a chance to get socialized in the best way possible! Called the “Shelter Buddies Reading Program”, this unique initiative allows 6 to 15-year-old kids to train shelters dog by reading their favorite stories to them!
The initial few sessions of this program have been very impressive. As the kids read out in their soothing voices and engage with the dogs, it promotes positive behavior reinforcement and makes the shy dogs feel safe and accepted. While the dogs become more outgoing and “adoptable”, the kids also learn the intricacies of a shelter dog’s body language. It’s a win-win!
Seeing the success of this program, the shelter has included this reading exercise as a permanent part of their annual holiday celebrations. This holiday event is known as “Deck The Howls”, and it also allows kids to make adoption greeting cards and other goodies for their new furry buddies. It would be so nice if every shelter introduces similar programs for their “undesirable” dogs!
Click the video below to watch the kids’ adorable bonding session with the lonely shelter dogs!