Children “Read and Share Their Love” with Shelter Pets Across the Country

This National Kids and Pets Day, Petco Love and Kristin Chenoweth celebrate the largest reading-to-pets initiative with children across 25 states.

Children “Read and Share Their Love” with Shelter Pets Across the Country

SAN ANTONIO, TEXAS (April 26, 2022) Celebrating National Kids and Pets Day, nonprofit Petco Love rallied kids across the country together to share their love with shelter pets, reading Kristin Chenoweth’s inspiring book “What Will I Do with My Love Today?” Petco Love and Tony and Emmy-award winning actress and performer Chenoweth joined with 50 animal welfare organizations across the nation to launch “Read and Share Your Love” events with hundreds of little animal lovers. The events empower children to practice reading skills and put their love into action, increasing public awareness of saving pet lives through adoption, kindness, and volunteering.

It was music to the ears of shelter pets last weekend as approximately 500 children across the country read “What Will I Do With My Love Today?, Chenoweth’s new tale of kindness and pet adoption. The inspiring book highlights the “made-for-each-other” adoption of Chenoweth’s rescue dog, Thunder. A vocal advocate for pet adoption, her message: “Extra love in your heart and your home is waiting for someone who’s all alone” aligns perfectly with Petco Love’s goal to harness the power of love to propel pet adoption into the national spotlight. The book advocates “adoption means family, and family’s forever.”

“I am a firm believer that some families are made by choice. I chose my dog Thunder to adopt, become part of my family, and share my love with,” said Chenoweth. “Thunder inspired my book to encourage families to share their love with shelter pets,” She adds. “I’m proud to be aligned with Petco Love and their shelter partners to get that message directly into the hands, and hearts, of little animal lovers throughout the country!”

Petco Love Today Reading Event

In addition to pet adoption, the theme of Chenoweth’s first picture book is helping others in the community. In keeping with that theme, the book from Tommy Nelson, a division of HarperCollins Christian Publishing, was donated to 50 participating animal welfare organizations by Petco Love and the publisher. These kid-friendly community events inspired families to show kindness to pets awaiting adoption throughout 25 states. Studies show that reading books to dogs and cats in the shelter helps calm and socialize pets and increase their chances of adoption.1 It is also proven to help children gain confidence reading out loud as animals are non-judgmental listeners. 2

Susanne Kogut, President of Petco Love, offered “Seeing the relationship between a child and a pet is magical, it’s pure love. I hope Kristin’s message “What Will I Do With My Love Today?” inspires children and families to put their love into action for pets in need nationwide. Bringing pets and children together makes the world a better place as pets are a positive influence on a child’s physical, social, emotional and cognitive development. 3 It’s a mutually beneficial and unconditional friendship.”

Parents of little animal lovers not located near a participating shelter can join the fun by sharing their child’s own stories about “what they did with their love to help pets” on social media via hashtag #LoveToday. Petco Love will also give away autographed copies of Chenoweth’s book on Instagram via @PetcoLove on April 26 in celebration of National Kids and Pets Day.

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About Petco Love

Petco Love is a nonprofit changing lives by harnessing the power of love to make communities and pet families closer, stronger, and healthier. Since our founding in 1999 as the Petco Foundation, we’ve empowered animal welfare organizations by investing $330 million in adoption and other lifesaving efforts. We’ve helped find loving homes for more than 6.5 million pets in partnership with Petco and organizations nationwide. Our love for pets drives us to lead with innovation, creating tools animal lovers need to reunite lost pets and lead with passion, inspiring and mobilizing communities and our more than 4,000 animal welfare partners to drive lifesaving change alongside us.

Is love calling you? Visit petcolove.org or follow on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn to join the lifesaving work we lead every day.

Contact:

media@petcolove.org

1 Tuozzi, Adele, et al. “Effects of Human Presence and Voice on the Behaviour of Shelter Dogs and Cats: A Preliminary Study.” Animals 11.2 (2021): 406.

Lane, Holly B., and Shannon DW Zavada. “When reading gets ruff: Canine‐assisted reading programs.” The Reading Teacher 67.2 (2013): 87-95.

3 Habri: Child Health and Development Research

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