“If I read to the dogs they will come out of their cages and find homes,” the boy named Jacob told NBC News
Jacob is making a difference in the lives of shelter dogs, one book at a time.
The 6-year-old from La Habra, California, reads to homeless dogs at the Carson Animal Shelter in Los Angeles County to help prep them for adoption.
“If I read to the dogs they will come out of their cages and find homes,” Jacob told NBC News, who reported the story. “They have to find new homes because they are alone.”
Jacob’s parents worried about their son’s lack of progress, until about a year ago, when his aunt Lisa Ferranti, an animal rescue worker, brought him to the shelter, the report said.
“Jacob is so calming,” Ferranti said. “He walks through and he’s not yelling or banging on the cages. He comes with a book and his mat and sets it up, and the dogs just listen.”
One dog in particular, named Pirate, is all ears when the boy – who was diagnosed with autism at age 2 – reads one book after another every Thursday.
“I think it helps socialize the dogs with children, and at the same time helped Jake socialize with animals more,” Ferranti told NBC.
The reading is helping the dogs and it’s helping Jacob: the 6-year-old reads at a third-grade level thanks to all of that practice.
To help dogs living at the shelter, many of whom are in danger of euthanasia at the end of May, click here.