The Shelter Buddies Reading Program is one of the firsts of its kind, but we’re betting it won’t be the last.

One animal shelter is going above and beyond to make sure their pooches are socialized while waiting for their fur-ever family. The Humane Society of Missouri has implemented the “Shelter Buddies Reading Program,” where children ages 6-15 are encouraged to come and read to the shelter dogs. [gallery link="none" size="medium" ids="9760,9765,9764"] The Shelter Buddies Reading Program has multiple benefits: reading to shy or anxious dogs encourages healthy interaction for the pups, who are rewarded with a treat when they come to the front of their kennel. Because dogs who stay at the back of their kennel are less likely to be adopted, it’s vital that the dogs learn to acclimate in a healthy manner. High energy dogs, on the other hand, are taught that calm behavior is desirable by the gentle and steady presence of children. The program has benefits for kids, too: they get to practice their reading skills without fear of embarrassment, while simultaneously doing something good for the community. Before they can participate, parents and children must attend a 90-minute training program that teaches how to understand dogs in a shelter and how to read dogs’ body language.

Since the program’s implementation in December, officials say the differences in dog adoptions are simply amazing. With the amount of animal rescues in Colorado, there are several opportunities to implement this! What do you think? Let us know in the comments!

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