Amazing Woman Reads Children's Books Aloud To Comfort Shelter Dogs After the Death Of Her Beloved Pup
Prep the tissues now, because one incredible woman is dedicating her time to animals forgotten by their humans in a truly adorable way. Once a week, for more than a year and a half, Sandy Barbabella has gone to the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society to read children's books aloud to comfort shelter dogs. Barbabella began reading to the dogs after her beloved Pembroke Welsh Corgi Angus passed away after 14 years in her care. When Angus passed, she told The Huffington Post, she felt volunteering her time at the shelter would be "the best way to return the love" Angus gave her. Excuse me while I take a moment.
Barbabella's story rose to the spotlight after Reddit user puglife123 posted a picture of the mother of four sitting outside a kennel and reading aloud to an elderly pit bull named Jade. Barbabella spends the day sitting alongside cages like Jade's, gently reading aloud picture books and helping the dogs learn basic commands. As Barbabella tells The Huffington Post:
"I enjoy it and probably get as much out of it as the dogs. ... They are all my favorites. Sometimes I just stand with the dogs in holding, and tears run down my face thinking about how people can do such things to an animal."
Reading aloud has been shown to have positive effects on both children and adults, but the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society knows that even more so, Barbabella's actions give the shelter dogs the patience and attention they are eager for and deserve. In a statement, Western PA Humane Society Director Joy Braunstein praised Barbabella:
Volunteers like Sandy are one of the most important pieces when caring for pets in a shelter environment. Our volunteers provide hours of interaction and play with all of the animals, from bunny romps to cat petting to the multiple walks our dogs need daily. ... We welcome volunteers here at the shelter with open arms just as we welcome any animal who enters our doors. We are so thankful to Sandy for her ongoing support of our pups. She has impacted so many lives through her time and her deep compassion.
If you want to follow in Barbabella's footsteps, check out The Shelter Pet Project for local opportunities.
And don't forget your copy of Shiloh.