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'Storytime at CAP' Invites Kids to Read at Local Animal Shelter

KATY MAGAZINE NEWS January 18, 2020 By Ali Litton

Storytime at CAP brings together three heart-lifting favorites - kids, pets and books! This after-school volunteer opportunity allows children to grow their reading abilities and confidence while sharing stories with adoptable shelter animals.

What: Children read to animals in the shelter Where: CAP, Citizens for Animal Protection

I-10 & Barker Cypress - 17555 Katy Freeway, Houston When: 4 – 6 p.m. every Thursday during academic school year Who: Children over 6 years old (must have parent supervision)

Reading Benefits Humans and Four-Legged Friends

The concept of helping children to read while providing much needed social interaction for the animals is rooted in science and experience. According to a study at UC Davis, children who read aloud to dogs for 10-15 minutes per week experienced a 12% increase in reading ability. The ASPCA also suggests the program can help shy and fearful dogs feel more comfortable.

Citizens for Animal Protection (CAP) Humane Education Coordinator, Ana Rodriguez, hopes programs like this one can help change people’s perceptions of shelters and promote the loving environment which houses some of the city’s most vulnerable members.

“Often people have formed a vague antiquated idea about animal shelters.  They assume our shelter will be dark and small, full of depressed aggressive animals who seem to be in a sort of prison,” says Rodriguez. “We need those people to see for themselves that the CAP Animal Shelter is a place where animals are helped, given a second, third, and fourth chance.”

Program Welcomes Community Participation

Starting as a one-time holiday event, Storytime at CAP borrowed models from other successful shelter reading programs and took into consideration comments and suggestions from other shelters and volunteers on how to make this work for the CAP mission.

The Storytime at CAP program allows people of all ages and abilities to serve their community without extensive training and without overcomplicated scheduling and commitment. Volunteers can bring their own books to read or borrow a short story book from the CAP library.

Readers remain outside the pet enclosure, but CAP provides soft blankets to sit on just outside of the pet’s space.

“Our furry residents crave attention, and this program provides it in a comfortable and non-threatening manner,” says Rodriguez.

For more information on how to brighten the lives of animals waiting on their forever homes, while also boosting confidence in young readers, visit the CAP website here.

Upcoming Events:

Kids Night at CAP January 31 (last Friday of every month) 6:30 - 9:30 p.m. CAP staff and teen volunteers offers to entertain the first 50 kids to arrive so parents can have a night off! Kids 6 and up are welcome, for a minimum donation of $15. No reservation needed.

For more information visit the CAP website here.

Kittenbowl and Puppybowl Weekend February 2 and 3 CAP Animal Shelter

Saturday will kick off with coffee, followed by CAT yoga. All kitten and cat adoption fees are waived from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. On Sunday, watch the live-stream of Animal Planet’s Annual Puppy Bowl and enjoy waived adoption fees from 1 - 6 p.m. on all shelter animals. All adoption fees donated by West Houston Subaru.

Big Fix Houston February 22 10 a.m. CAP Animal Shelter

Sign up for the annual large-scale spaying and neuter event present by Unity for a Solution. The project’s goal is to educate pet owners and to provide free spay, neuter, vaccinations and microchipping to pets in areas of Houston with the most animal-related complaints.

Kids and Critters


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