At the beginning of August, a picture was published that melted many tender hearts. One woman named Sandy Barbabella was sitting outside a dog’s cage in a Pennsylvania shelter, reading a book to the dogs.
The picture was published by Reddit user Puglife123, who is a volunteer from the shelter. His note said: “This woman comes to my local humane society and sits in front of the dogs’ cage and reads books to them.”
Soon enough, the picture went viral and raised many compassionate comments regarding the sweetness of the woman and the greatness of her heart. We know now that the dog she was reading to in the picture is an old female Pit Bull called Jade and the book was “The pup and the biscuit.”
Many shelters have the option of allowing children to read out loud to the dogs, since this is a proven method that helps developing trust in children that are learning how to read. Dogs don’t judge them if they make a mistake, they don’t make fun of them if they mispronounce a word and they will be quiet and respectful while they read. It is a great service, but in this case intended to help the kids.
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What Sandy is doing here is a service entirely for the dogs. The only benefit she may get from this act is the shared experience and the calm that the dogs may be transmitting back to her.
The moment caught on camera increased many people’s desire to find a simple, but warm way to help animals living in shelters. The Western Pennsylvania Humane Society encourages people to volunteer with them— it can be through dog walking, cat cuddling and bunny budding. For more information on their requirements and ways to volunteer, you can follow this link.
If you are not in Pennsylvania but still in the U.S., you can follow this other link to find your local shelter and find out in which ways you can volunteer.
We constantly redirect people to shelters who need donations to keep up their good work. But what this picture reminds us of is that sometimes there’s something more valuable you can give to the animals: your time, your heart and your love.