Tales for Tails Reading Enhancement Program

We hope your child enjoys their experience reading to our animals!

The Tales for Tails Reading Program has been designed to provide an opportunity for kids aged 5 – 16 to improve their reading while bettering the lives of our shelter pets. 

Shelter animals will love having your child’s companionship! The presence of a calm child helps the animals learn that children are friends, not foes. Most animals enjoy the rhythm of the children reading, while the fearful animals become calmer, more trusting, and more social. 

Tales for Tail Reading Program Guidelines

To ensure success with your child’s reading and for the animals to benefit we ask that you follow these guidelines while in the shelter:

  • Reading times are 20 minutes each and flexible to the child's schedule during the times of:

Saturday/Sunday, non-instructional days, 11:30 am - 4 pm

School days (except Monday), 3:30 pm - 4:45 pm

  • Call us to book your time slot 

    604-940-7111. Same-day bookings are accepted.

  • One family per time slot (One adult per child is recommended if the children want to read in different rooms or areas of the shelter).
  • Not all animals are suitable for children – the staff will pick the animals most appropriate. Most dogs in the shelter are not suitable for children. If a dog is available, a volunteer or staff member will accompany the dog. In the summer months, children may be able to read to the dogs through the kennels bars.
  • Please be aware the animal's behaviors can be unpredictable. Children under the age of 14 should be supervised by an adult at all times.
  • We ask that parents ensure all children interact with the animals in a slow, quiet, and calm manner. A good rule to follow is that your child should let the animal make the first approach. Children should never pick up the animals.
  • When you attend the shelter, check in at the front desk and then proceed straight to the Meet and Greet Room to pick your book! Animals that the staff have determined to be appropriate have the Tales for Tails logo on their cages. 
  • If it is busy in the shelter with visitors, please ask at reception if there is an animal suitable to read to in the Meet and Greet Room. When you are finished reading you can leave the pet in the room and someone will go get him/her after you have left.
  • Don’t forget to track your reading sessions! Check in with reception before you leave so your child can enter the monthly draw.
  • To ensure a comfortable experience for your child, the focus should be on time, not speed.

To provide feedback to this new and developing program, please email Sarah Jones, the Animal Shelter Manager.

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