At only 10 years old, Evan B. has already learned a valuable life lesson. He knows that you don’t need to be rich, or even out of school, to make an important impact on the world. Evan has learned that all you really need is a little kindness…and maybe a book. This wise 10-year-old from the Bronx is proving that theory every weekend when he reads to rescue dogs at the Animal Care Centers of NYC. He doesn’t do it for attention, or even the occasional puppy cuddles, he does it because he wants to help rescue dogs feel safe, happy, and at home.
Listening to Evan read is soothing for the dogs.
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When my mom first told me back in August that I was going to be reading to shelter animals @nycacc I was excited because I was going to be working with dogs and this has been something that I've been wanting to do. I did not know what to expect from my experience and I am still learning. Romeo(68984) was the first dog I read to and he was an absolute pleasure. I remember being drawn to him because he was sitting quietly in the back of his cage and I assumed he was scared. As I read to him his ears just perked up and he came to the front to listen. I couldn't believe how cute and sweet he was and at that point I realized how important my job was to make these dogs feel more comfortable when they spend most of their time in uncertainty. As I visited the shelter week after week I learned to take my time and try to understand what they were going through. I learned that I am not going to get through to every dog, but it's not a fail. I think it's more important to know that I gave them my time and I was their friend for the day. As I got to know some of these animals and their stories I found that it is hard to hear… and see the things that they've been through. I wanted them to know that I was there to help them conquer their past fears and traumas and that someone is on their side even if it was just to soothe them for a brief moment. It was a moment they didn't have to worry or be nervous and that means everything to them. This season is a time of year that we are especially filled with light and joy, but I am realizing how many animals don't get to be a part of a loving family and how long some of them have been sitting alone in their kennels without someone to love them. Life is precious and time is something we cannot get back – if you can give your time to an animal in need this season (volunteer/foster…even better, Adopt), you would be amazed at how instantly you impact their world. Featured here is flashback to Romeo – one of my first furry friends. He is still looking for a furever home.
Evan first started reading to rescues after he and his mom found a dog tied to a fence. They brought the dog to ACC and were thrilled when he was adopted. While at the shelter, Evan’s mom learned about a volunteer program that allowed kids to read to dogs in their kennels.
The program is called Books for Boroughbreds, and Evan couldn’t wait to join.
He told Buzzfeed,
“I always wanted to work with dogs and I was excited when she told me that I could read to them!”
The goal behind Books for Boroughbreds is to offer rescue dogs an opportunity to relax and be comfortable around people. Many of the dogs that enter the shelter come from worlds where they were abused or neglected. They’re stressed, scared, and worried about being in an unfamiliar environment.
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Give the gift of Love – it is not only priceless but it costs nothing and requires very little. This is Goldie (57079)- I tell everyone at school about Goldie. She is my #wcw. When I need a mental break or just a moment to relax while I’m reading to dogs I turn to Goldie! She is warm and inviting and she runs right over for attention. She is soft and her ears do nothing but listen to all the good things I tell her about herself- they even respond back! She is just beautiful ????- it has been challenging finding her a home and she has been returned once before. She requires love, affection and most importantly to be the queen of her own castle. If you have space in your home and your heart for this golden girl – Adopt Goldie (57079) ❤️ @nycacc #Adopt #AdoptDontShop #Adoption #AdoptDogs #AdoptDontBuy #AdoptDontBreed #Rescue #RescueDog #RescueDogsOfInstagram #RescuePuppy #RescueDogsRule #RescueDogsOfIG #RescuePetsOfInstagram #Foster #FosterDog #ShelterDog #boroughbred #nycacc #adoptable #seniordog #nycdogs #dogoftheday #dogstagram #petstagram #boroughbred #rescueismyfavoritebreed #pitbulladvocate #dontbullymybreed #shelter #adoptableinbrooklyn ????
By reading out loud, Evan helps the dogs relax. He sits calmly outside their kennels and reads whatever books he can find. Sometimes the dogs start the session by anxiously pacing or cowering. But by the end of the book, Evan says most dogs end up laying quietly or even snoring in their beds. The calming interaction helps the stressed out dogs feel safe as they transition into life at the shelter. And it also benefits them when they get adopted. Thanks to Evan, the dogs are more accustomed to listening and being around people.
Evan looks forward to his time volunteering as a way to make a real difference for every animal he meets. He says,
“The most rewarding experience is when I try to specifically help an at-risk dog and I can almost immediatley see the impact and how they react to me reading to them.”
Evan and his mom share videos of the dogs to help them get adopted.
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One can easily be drawn to this tender soul by his always upstanding- one perked ear – it’s part floppy part elf- but it’s ever-so inviting! It’s his way of letting you know he’s always there to hear you out- lending a listening ear if you will! Guero is a gentle, soft and an all around equal opportunist lover who simply loves to freely give love to everyone- hoomans, dogs and cats – and let’s face it the world could do with more of that! Paws up to your new bestie you didn’t even know could exist in such perfection! ???? Adopt/Foster/Share Guero #83843 @nycacc – unleash this furever kind of love ????
Along with reading to the rescues, Evan also helps the shelter in other ways. He shares pictures and videos of the dogs on social media in hopes of getting them adopted. He also helped raise $1,000 by selling t-shirts.
Above all, Evan wants to spread the message that every rescue dog deserves a chance at a good life.
“I think most people think that shelter dogs are not ‘good’ because they went through things and had bad things happen in their past. They are ALL good. All dogs are good–they’re just scared and they need love and they just need to know someone is on their side.”
Evan may be young, but his actions are inspiring. By doing something as simple as reading a book, he’s spreading kindness and helping dogs find the love they deserve.
If you’re inspired by Evan, follow him on Instagram.
All images via Instagram/eb_and_the_pets.