WATERLOO, Iowa (KWWL) – It’s not easy being a shelter dog, somehow convincing strangers to welcome them in their home.
At the Cedar Bend Humane Society, kids volunteer their time to read to pets waiting to be adopted.
“This program, we thought it really helps to improve kids reading skill and help them cultivate their reading skills and it’s like a non-judgmental environment because the dogs don’t talk it’s just a really comfortable environment for them to practice their reading,” Gulwadi said.
High school students Gulwadi and Maya Gabriele came up with the idea of reading to the dogs at the shelter in Waterloo.
Alex Rouse says after losing his dog this past Christmas, this helps him grieve.
“The month was kind of sad because we lost our dog and everyone wasn’t in the best mood and so my mom was over on her phone, she told me about the barking book buddies,” Rouse said.
Rouse’s mom couldn’t be more excited.
“I thought it would also be very therapeutic for my family after going through a loss of their dog and it’s just given Alexander more confidence in his reading and its great for dogs too in having that companionship,” Juley Rouse said.
The program began in 2016.
“Ever since then, the turnout has been really great so we kept doing it so this is our third year now,” Gulwadi said.
A future barking book buddies session is scheduled for May 5th.
Books are provided or participants may bring their own. if you are interested in donating books to this program please call 319-232-6887.