No tall tale: Kids get dogs’ tails wagging by volunteering to read to them

The shelter said the program helps dogs grow comfortable with people.

ST. LOUIS, MO (WCMH)– One humane society in Missouri is proving that everyone likes to be read to, including our four-legged furry friends.

According to the Today Show, the Book Buddies Reading Program at the Missouri Humane Society trains volunteers between the ages of five to 16 to read to shy shelter dogs.

The shelter said the program helps dogs grow comfortable with people.

“We saw more and more rescue animals that were shy, fearful, and stressed out in the shelter environment,” JoEllyn Klepacki, the society’s assistant director of education told the Today Show. “Unfortunately, these dogs are less likely to get adopted, since they tend to hang back instead of engage when potential adoptees come through.

The kids are taught to how to interact with the dogs through monthly training sessions.

Klepacki said the program has made a huge difference for the dogs.

“Just look at the dogs in these photos,” she said. “These were dogs that before were hiding in the backs of the rooms with their tails tucked. You can see the connection — you can see them responding to those kids,” she said. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others and keep the conversation on topic and civil. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review.

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