Kids and kittens is a combination that’s hard to beat.
In Stockton, kids are getting together with kittens to read them books in the animal shelter.
At the Stockton Animal Shelter, there's a room full of cats and kittens, all of them waiting for adoption. Three girls each pick out a kitty, pull up a chair, and start reading to animals in their cages.
“My smart nose tells me where you stopped to sing to a bird and where you danced a little dance with a bug,” reads 11-year-old Isabella Gomez. Her book is about a dog, but the felines aren’t fickle.
Nicole Schafer started the program Book Tails this summer and says young readers find that they have a captive audience.
“It’s good for animals to hear human’s voice every once in a while, even if you are reading a dog’s book to a cat which is very good for them to hear your voice for a little bit," says Schafer. “They don’t have to worry about maybe how slow they’re reading if they stumble across a word. They get to take their time and really focus and improve their reading skills.”
And she says it’s a sure way to get the cats purring along with the treats the kids feed them as a reward.
“The cats get to learn that people are friendly. We want them to approach people. It increases their chance of getting adopted,” says Schafer.
Isabella’s mother Victoria Gomez likes the program, but thinks the young readers might be thinking about adding to the family.
“All those little girls in here will definitely try to get us to adopt one of them on the way home,” says Gomez.
In the next month or so, dogs will be added to the mix, and that will set every tail wagging.