Reading to pets: program aims to increase adoptions

You've heard about programs focused on reading to kids, but what about a program for reading to pets.

A no-kill shelter in the valley is now calling for volunteers to come read books to cats and dogs waiting for adoption.

We've all heard about the benefits of reading to children. Turns out that reading to shelter pets can be really beneficial, too. It can help to socialize and calm them, and acclimate them to life in a happy, stable home. 

"Arnie" the shelter dog loves his updates from Entertainment Weekly. This volunteer reads to him, helping him become calmer around people. It's part of a new program at the Arizona Animal Welfare League.

"If they come to the shelter they might have lived in a home for a long time, they might have lived on the street for a while, so being around all these people constantly can be very stressful," said Michael Morefield.

To ease that stress, AAWL is encouraging its volunteers to read to dogs and cats inside their kennels.

Some volunteers read books and magazines from the shelter's library, others practices speeches and work presentations. Regardless of the genre, the effect is the same.

"They're coming and greeting adopters more often, they're not panting and getting stressed in kennels, they realize it's ok to be around people," said Morefield.

As the animals become more calmer around people they also become more adoptable. 

The Arizona Animal Welfare League runs the program at both of its locations. 
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