Paws to Read: In Grove City, Pennsylvania, an area pet rescue teamed up with the local community library in an event for kids: “Paws to Read with the kittens.” Due to the pandemic, fundraisers were canceled or postponed. Now, they are beginning to try creative ways to support rescue and adoption efforts. And, what a creative idea which the kids seem to love!
Similar programs which encouraged kids to read with trained therapy dogs and sometimes shelter cats have been successful for over 20 years.
After registering, each person offered a donation for the rescue. For example, they arrived with cat food, toys, and cleaning supplies. Then, kids read a book aloud and interacted with foster kittens from the Grove City Area Pet Rescue.
“This will help kids develop their reading skills & help socialize the kitties, preparing them for adoption!” read the Facebook event page.
Paws to Read at the Library
On the day of the event, the volunteers arrived with eight kittens under a year old. Notably, all the kittens were also up for adoption.
As kids waited their turn, they took part in crafts and enjoyed snacks.
By all accounts, the Paws to Read event was a great success as kids and kittens had a great time. According to Yahoo! News, over a dozen kids “couldn’t control their excitement” at the library.
“‘I really like it. I love them a lot,’ Adrianna Vandegrift, 7, of Grove City, said as she cuddled with several kittens.”
According to Heather Baker, the library director of children’s programming, the library staff seemed as excited as the kids.
Interactive Cat Enclosures
To make sure the kittens had everything they needed, the Paws to Read organizers thought every detail through. The kittens all had a safe enclosure containing a litter box, a cat house, toys, and treats.
Then, kids waited for their turn to enter the enclosure, where they would read a book to the kittens. As you might expect, playing with the kittens was the main focus of Paws to Read.
“We got to play with cats. That’s all that matters,” said 12-year-old Abigail, who hopes to adopt a kitten one day.
On the other hand (or paw), some kittens seemed more interested in the toys. However, volunteer Jessica Hagan says the event helped prepare the kittens for finding their forever homes. Likewise, participants may just find the perfect companion.
“They might find one that’s a good fit with their family,” said Hagan.
Also, the Paws to Read event encourages volunteers and foster homes too!
Getting Creative to Support Rescues and Adoptions
On Facebook, you can see that the Grove City Area Pet Rescue is always taking part in creative events. For example, they recently had a “Pups in the Pumpkin Patch” event for Halloween. Next, they are planning a virtual 5K and recently hosted an “Undiscovered Treasure Sale.”
All that creativity helps care for the kittens currently in their care. At present, the group’s website states they are “beyond capacity” as they care for all the kittens. If you would like to help, see their website here, and follow them on Facebook.
Featured images: MONICA PRYTS | Allied News and Facebook/Grove City Area Pet Rescue