10-year-old boy spends his free time comforting shelter dogs by reading to them

At any given moment there are thousands of cats and dogs around the country living in shelters. We hope that they all find their forever homes, but in the meantime they can all use some human companionship.

Shelters can be stressful environments for pets, but the simple act of spending time with these animals—by talking, reading or even playing music—can help relax them, help them get used to being around people and ultimately make them more adoptable.

And now one inspiring boy has made it his mission to read to dogs as much as he can.

Evan Bisnauth is a 10-year-old from the Bronx, New York. A few months ago he discovered an opportunity to volunteer with the Animal Care Centers of NYC called the “Books for Boroughbreds” program, where young volunteers read books to shelter pets.

He jumped at the opportunity: “I always wanted to work with dogs and I was excited when she told me that I could read to them!” Evan told BuzzFeed

While most kids his age are playing video games, he spends his free time with a book, reading out loud to comfort these lonely dogs.

Despite his young age, Evan has a deeply empathy for these dogs, and truly wants to reach out and make a difference in their lives.

“I wanted to help [the dogs] conquer their fear so when people interact with them and they want to adopt, they are more socialized,” he told NY1.

“Usually, they are scared, and it’s a new place for them.”

Evan wrote that he has seen the difficult times these dogs go through, and acknowledges that he won’t always make a breakthrough with every one. He’s also seen many of the dogs he’s read to be euthanized.

But the job can also be incredibly rewarding, and he’s seen first hand the impact his kindness can have on these animals.

“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,” Evan told Buzzfeed.

“They start to get calm and quiet and some even fall asleep… That makes me happy because I can tell they are scared and stressed.”

His story shows how shelter dogs often need a little extra love to warm up to people, but that the effort is well worth it.

“All dogs are good,” Evan told Buzzfeed, addressing the common stigma against shelter animals. “They’re just scared and they need love and they just need to know someone is on their side.”

It’s an inspiring way to volunteer, and Evan’s mother says the dogs aren’t the only ones who benefit from the program.

“It’s taught him a lot about compassion and giving a voice to dogs that doesn’t have a voice,” Evan’s mother Amanda Persaud told NY1.

Thank you to this kind young man for taking the time to make these dogs feel loved, we know you’re really making a difference!

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