On Saturday, children gathered at the of the St. Louis County Library to read out loud to some of the best listeners around—a group of therapy dogs and cats.
Whiskers and Tales, a group of volunteers and therapy animals, have been reading with children across Missouri since 2000. Whiskers and Tales is an extension of the Love on a Leash program, which trains and assists dogs and cats in providing pet therapy.
As a part of Whiskers and Tales, the pet therapy animals and their owners work together one-on-one with children to provide a unique reading experience.
"Some children feel self-conscious about reading out loud," Whiskers and Tales worker Michelle Cardosi said. "For some reason, they have no trouble reading to an animal, though. And a lot of these children might not have pets at home."
Cardosi said she cannot count the number of times her cat, Cleo, has heard The Cat In The Hat.
"If it helps a child to read, though, it's worth it," Cardosi said.