The natural connection between young people is the best way to engage our children in the idea that they can make a difference in the lives of animals. Our reading program provides an opportunity for children to be involved in a significant way.


This is an opportunity for children to make a difference in the lives of animals while developing their reading skills. Complete a 30-minute orientation and readers are welcome to come read to our cats between 11am & 6pm daily.

Each session is limited to 10 readers, each with 1 parent – Total of 20

Please call for more information and for upcoming orientation dates

208-788-4351 x111

Encourage Empathy and Compassion in Children

Our reading program is available to children from the ages of 6 – 12. Both adult and child will attend an orientation prior to reading to our shelter animals. This training session is designed to teach the readers and their guardians on how to identify and respond appropriately to animal body language with empathy and compassion. We encourage the children to view the world through the cat or dog’s perspective, to better understand their situation and learn to empathize and connect emotionally. Research exists that estimates over 70% of children of all ages talk to and confide in animals (

Help comfort shy dogs and cats and ease their anxiety

The Shelter environment can be loud and overstimulating for some animals. The reading program is a calm and peaceful activity that provides the animals with a choice to keep to themselves or engage with the young reader. The non-physical contact is less intimidating for our animals and encourages our dogs to approach the front of the kennels where they are likely to get adopted more quickly. For our feline community, being read to provides enrichment and establishes trust with humans, encouraging their curious and friendly characteristics! It’s hard to resist adopting a friendly feline! All of this comes with the bonus of helping children practice their reading skills in a non-judgmental environment.

Help animals get adopted more quickly

We love our animals and a big piece of our mission is to connect them with the right people as quickly as possible! Through calm and positive interactions with readers, dogs become more comfortable and therefore more willing to approach the front of the kennel to greet potential adopters. This helps decrease their length of stay which is better for their well-being. More adoptions means Mountain Humane can bring additional dogs in as we work to achieve No Kill Idaho 2025! Sitting and reading quietly to cats increases their chances of feeling safer around potential adopters as well.

Social and Emotional Benefits of Reading to Animals:

 Children learn to take turns while waiting for their chance to read

 Children learn kindness and empathy through their interactions with the animal whether it is
physical or not.

 Reading aloud improves communication skills and vocabulary.

 Children get a sense of accomplishment and pride in giving their time and finishing a book.

 The sense of leadership by reading to animals can boost confidence

 Dogs and cats do not judge the reader for mistakes; this reduces anxiety in the reluctant reader.

 Families can experience the benefits to the animals and read to their own pets.