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Story Tails Reading Program

Once upon a time, a child made a difference in a shelter animal's life. 

The WHS “Story Tails” reading program gives children a creative and supportive outlet to practice their reading skills while also helping to socialize animals who are waiting for forever homes in the shelter. The Story Tails reading program is a great way for children to build confidence in their literacy capabilities by reading stories out loud to a friendly and furry audience – our shelter pets! Reading to shelter animals not only helps the child, but it can significantly reduce stress for the shelter pets and reinforces positive association with people!

Children in Grades 1-8 who are able to read at any level are invited to the shelter to read to the cats in our community cat room and to the animals in our small animal room. Comfortable seating is provided for the children and WHS' animals will be a paw-some and supportive audience. 

How do I sign up?
Click to complete the required information, and someone from our education department will be in contact with you.

When is this program available?
Wednesday and Thursdays from 3PM-6PM
Saturdays from 10:30am-3:00PM
Children will be able to schedule 1/2 hour sessions during these times. There will also be a safety discussion immediately before their 1st session to ensure that all questions are answered.

Who can take advantage of this program? 
Any child between grades 1-8 is encouraged to join in on the fun! 

What books will be read?
Over the years, we have had many books donated to us by different organizations and people that the children can read that are all relative to Humane Education and animals.  Your child is also welcome to bring their own books to share their favorite stories with our animals!

Can children read to shelter dogs?
Eventually, yes! We will be offering reading sessions for our shelter dogs in the next few weeks. If your child is interested in reading to a dog, please indicate that in your message to the Education Department and we will be sure to notify you when sessions become available. 

Is there a fee?
Nope! The "Story Tails" program is completely free and open to the public. Of course, donations are always appreciated and go towards supporting our shelter animals. 

What are some of the benefits of the program?                                                                      

  • Improving the child’s reading skills
  • Building a child’s confidence
  • Education in animal care and animal welfare
  • Getting the child acquainted with animals
  • Getting the child used to reading aloud
  • Helping our animals socialize, stay calm and associate positive experiences with humans

Who will be with the child during the reading visit?
We will ensure a trained volunteer is either in the room with the child, or checking on the child and the animals every few minutes based on the parent’s discretion.  The parent is also able to be in the room with the child, should they decide this would be best.  The parent must stay at WHS, either in the lobby or in the shelter, throughout the entire reading session.