Facebook_off Twitter_off Pinterest Instagram_off Googleplus_off Youtube_off Emailnewsletter

Welcome to DogHeirs, Where Dogs Are Family! Log in or Sign Up


DogHeirs Tshirts

Kind-hearted children help comfort shelter dogs by reading to them

Custom_sam_sheepdog_300_thumb By Martha | | Comments (5)

Children read to shelter dogs as part of a special after school program in Montana
Polar Bear, a shelter dog at Bitter Root Humane Association, enjoys a story being read by a child participating in an after-school program in Montana. Photo: Facebook

A group of school children participating in an after school program in Hamilton, Montana, are helping shelter dogs by reading to them while they are in their kennels.

As part of The Keystone to Discovery After School Program, children travel to the Bitter Root Humane Association's shelter every week and spend time reading to the dogs. The effects have been positive for both the children and the dogs.

The Keystone program director Ria Overholt says that the dogs relax when they hear the children's calm and steady voices. She has gotten positive feedback from the children's parents as well.

"Dogs are a totally non-judgmental audience to read to," Ria told the Ravalli Republic. "We've found that it does help them build their reading skills and they have fun doing it."

During a recent visit, one boy, Gavin Vineyard, sat on an upturned bucket and read to a Shar-Pei cross named Kira. He said, "I really like to read to them. It feels like a nice thing to do. They always seem to calm down after you start reading."

The program has been running for three years now and kids spend an afternoon a week reading to the shelter's dogs and cats. The kids choose if they wish to participate, and those that do return week after week.

For their part, Bitter Root Humane Association is very happy the kids come and help the animals. They said it can be an eye-opening experience for many of the kids, but that everyone finds it rewarding. 

They posted a photo on their Facebook page and thanked the children for coming in and reading. "Polar Bear, a beautiful 5 year old male registered malamute, seemed to be enjoying the stories immensely! THANK YOU so much for coming down and doing this for the shelter animals. We look forward to another year of having you guys down."




View more articles in: Community News

You may also like

Dog sneaks his shelter buddies out of their kennels to party (VIDEO)

The Battersea Dogs & Cats Home noticed that when they arrived in the morning to work kennel doors were open with dogs roaming the halls and food eaten in the kitchen. They couldn't solve the mystery. So they decided to install some cameras to get to the bottom of things and made a startling discovery.   Related: Smart dog at shelter finds way to escape her kennel Smart dog breaks open door to free her...
Read more

This blind Pug has a special gift. What he does with it moved me to tears.

Xander is a blind pug with a very special gift, which he uses to help the people who need it most - abused children. He lives in Oregon and lost his eyes in an accident. He was adopted from the Klamath Animal Shelter last January by Rodney Beedy, who right away knew he had a special dog. Photo: Facebook/Meet Xander Xander has a wonderful temperment and people at the shelter told Rodney that Xander would...
Read more

Mother's magical photos of her young sons with animals made my heart melt

Russian photographer Elena Shumilova began taking photographs of her two sons, Yaroslav and Vanya, interacting with the dogs in their family and animals on their farm. The resulting photographs capture the elusive and magical relationships that children have with animals. Elena only took up photography in 2012 and told Yahoo Shine that she prefers to use natural light, which she feels gives "emotional depth to the image," adding "I get inspired mainly by desire to...
Read more

Two friends adopt dogs from shelter and get wonderful surprise (PHOTOS)

When Meredith and her friend adopted dogs from a Korean shelter they ended up getting an unexpected surprise. A few weeks after they brought their dogs home, Meredith friend's dog gave birth to 4 puppies! Instead of having rescued 2 dogs, they had rescued 6! Each of the puppies look totally different from one another, leading Meredith to believe her friend's dog was probably impregnated by multiple males at the shelter. She explained, "Here in...
Read more

Funny dogs help parent read book aloud to kids (VIDEO)

These dogs love reading along with their parent when she reads aloud to her kids. Their guardian explains the Doggy Read Along as follows, "I put this video together for my kids as they think that it is the funniest thing ever when the dogs read/sing along!" (The book being read is Sandra Boynton's "Doggies".)   Related: Sweet Beagle puppy shows off his howl (Video) Toy Poodle plays guitar with his dad (video) Musical dog...
Read more

Comments on this Article

Polar Bear is such a beautiful dog...hard to believe no one wants him! :-(
That is one of the sweetest things I have ever seen,god bless those children,and I pray that each and everyone of those sweet dogs find a forever home <3
That is a wonderful positive thing for the children to be doing that benefits them and the animals they give company too, well done kids :-)
Wonderful program, will teach all kinds of things to the children who participate and make them more aware of just how desperate the situation is in those places. It also gives the animals some comfort where there is none otherwise. They will cling to any form of attention or love. God bless these children and their desire to make a difference... :0)
I know of a school in my area that has been using comfort dogs in their reading program to great effect. It gives the kids a non judgmental listener to read to. The police have also used comfort dogs in cases of child abuse. The kids feel more comfortable telling the dogs about what happened. Because dogs can't speak for themselves they are such great teachers of empathy. It makes us observe them closely to try to ascertain what they are feeling, and ultimately care for their welfare. I can see programs like this expanding, and possible in a lot of different directions.
» View all comments

Add Your Comment!

Log in to leave a comment or Create an account

Spring Sale on T-Shirts

Must See

Follow DogHeirs

Also find us on: DogHeirs on Twitter DogHeirs on Pinterest DogHeirs on Instagram DogHeirs on Google+

Copyright 2015 DogHeirs