Who’s as sweet and innocent as dogs? Little kids, probably! Well, this animal shelter asked 42 children to write letters on behalf of dogs – and they instantly boosted adoptions.
Animal Shelter Seeks Help
These dogs and one cat from an animal shelter waited for too long to get adopted. Thankfully, kids came to the rescue. A team of 42 second-graders at St. Michael’s Episcopal School in Richmond, Virginia wrote heartwarming letters from the pets’ perspectives. Joined by adorable drawings, they won over hundreds of hearts. “Hi my name is Sleigh Ride! Do you want to adopt me?” read one of the letters made by Winnie Rice. “You can train me if you want! Can you put a heart on my collar? I am a girl. Who are you?” Another one for Sunday Special said: “If you do adopt me, I hope I will brighten up your Sundays like the SUN! You’ll be my Sunday Special, and I hope I’ll be yours!” This plan was genius for sure. But who thought of it? The kids’ teacher, Kensey Jones.
Jones has been a second-grade teacher for over eight years now. In addition to teaching children, she’s been volunteering at Richmond Animal Care and Control almost every weekend. Soon, she put the kids’ persuasive writing paragraphs task in a new light. “She emailed me back in January, and was like, ‘You can say no, but what do you think about this idea of having the kids write persuasive writing, like from the perspective of one of the shelter dogs?’ and I thought it was an amazing idea,” Christie Chipps Peters, the director of RACC said.
Best Adverts Ever!
How can someone say no to that, really? Next, Peters scheduled a meeting for kids and Snow, a 10-week-old American pit bull-terrier puppy from the shelter. At the end of January, children found out how the shelter works and why they were a part of the program – some dogs weren’t as popular in the community. “We’re the only open-admission shelter in the city of Richmond, which means we take in every animal regardless of health or behavior,” Peters explained. That includes pit bulls and older dogs. Yet, all kids were excited to help. They wrote the paragraphs exceptionally fast – and good! “Children write the best anyway because they have no filter and they’re honest and kind and it just comes from such a sweet spot,” Peters said.
“They haven’t yet been jaded. Reading their stories and looking at that sweet dog in the cage, I think just speaks volumes to moving on the emotional side of things.” Since the start of the project, 20 of the 24 dogs and a cat found their homes. When someone got adopted, children received a notification. That said, kids were able to learn that they can be helpful in the community even at seven years old. They cheer with excitement when they see that their animal has gone home. There was a lot of happiness in our classroom when I was showing the Facebook Live videos and they could see their dog. They really connected and that became their dog,” Jones said.
In the future, the shelter wants to collaborate with students once again. “I think I would do it again in a heartbeat,” Peters commented.