5 kids sit next to dog kennels and read books out loud.

Animal shelter invites kids to read to adoptable pets

The Ingham County Animal Control and Shelter is inviting Mason’s children to read to adoptable pets at the shelter’s new readership program, S.P.A.C.E. Tails (Sheltered Pets Assisting Children’s Education). 

Starting in December the shelter has been inviting children ages 6-16 to read to dogs and cats. The program is offered in collaboration with the Mason Library, which provides one free book to each child who attends. Volunteer and Foster Coordinator Lauren Yunker said S.P.A.C.E. Tails is a part of the shelter’s overarching enrichment program. Interactions with children mentally stimulate the animals, as they spend most of their time bored and stressed at the shelter. 

“A lot of them calm down when they’re being read to. Some of them tend to be more kennel reactive, they may bark when visitors come by.