This 10-Year-Old Boy Reads To Shelter Dogs Every Weekend

by Valerie Williams
Evan B/Instagram

A 10-year-old boy with a heart of gold spends his free time on weekends reading to lonely shelter pups

Evan B. is 10 years old. He lives in the Bronx and spends his weekends reading to shelter pups at the Animal Care Centers (ACC) of NYC. If you suspect watching him patiently reading stories to lonely shelter dogs will make your hear burst, you would be correct. It might also make your eyes wet, or maybe that’s just us.

According to BuzzFeed, Evan began the practice last August by joining the ACC’s Books for Boroughbreds program. He reads at both the Manhattan and Brooklyn shelters, and was inspired to start up the volunteer post when his mom found a dog tied up to a fence that she brought to the ACC. The rescue tracked the doggo and during the visit, Evan’s mom found out about the reading program. That’s when Evan kicked into high gear, telling BuzzFeed, “I always wanted to work with dogs and I was excited when she told me that I could read to them!”

Our hearts.

If you’re prepared to sob at either work or in front of your kids, check out his posts where he explains the situations of certain “at-risk” puppers who are struggling in the shelter environment. Hearing their anguished yelps quieted as Evan patiently reads to them is enough to reduce anyone to a puddle of tears. This kiddo is a saint.

Evan’s talents are really real. He tells BuzzFeed what he gets from the volunteer hours he spends reading to the dogs. “The most rewarding experience is when I try to specifically help an at-risk dog and I can almost immediately see the impact and how they react to me reading to them,” he said. “They start to get calm and quiet and some even fall asleep. They will be at the front of the kennel and end up curled up on their beds snoring. That makes me happy because I can tell they are scared and stressed. I sometimes bring toys for the dogs I read to as a reward for being listeners, but I end up giving toys to almost all of them!”

Guess I’m just spending today with a pile of soaked tissues next to my laptop. It’s fine. Everything is fine.

Evan also abides by my own personal They’re All Good Boys and Girls philosophy when it comes to shelter dogs with a bit of a past. “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. I am happy to be their friend and I can tell it means a lot to them just by the way they react to me. All of the dogs are good, they just need love and to be trained.”

Evan didn’t stop at reading to the dogs — he’s also raised $1,000 for the ACC by selling t-shirts. He is planning to do another fundraiser soon, which is great, because these adorable shirts are currently sold out.

Thinking about how much our dog loves just sitting beside our tweenage kids while they yabber away to friends on FaceTime helps me understand what Evan’s time with the shelter pups must mean to them. They love humans, and some dogs especially love young humans. Hearing this sweet, happy boy reading a story can help them feel calm and loved, which is a wonderful gift to give to a frightened soul waiting for their second chance.