Humane Society of Southern Wisconsin

Wags & Tales Reading Program

The Wags & Tales Reading Program is a mutually beneficial experience designed to help shy or anxious animals in our shelter feel more comfortable around people by having children read to them. This program helps foster compassion and empathy, while providing a supportive environment to help children develop their reading skills. Calmer animals are happier animals, and we want to ensure they receive the best care possible in our shelter with the help of the children in our community. Participants sit within designated cat enclosures or outside of a dog’s kennel and read to them.

Who can benefit from the Wags & Tales Reading Program?

  • Children who strive to improve their reading skills
  • Children who are participating in school or extracurricular activities such as Boy or Girl Scouts
  • Children wanting to spend time helping animals

Who can participate?

Anyone 5 years or older. Children who are under the age of 16 must be accompanied by an adult. Readings are limited to 2 children at a time to ensure a calming atmosphere.

When can we read to the animals?

The Wags & Tales Reading Program is available Monday - Friday from 12 PM-6 PM by appointment

Do you have books for us to read there or do we need to bring our own?

We have a small selection of books to choose from, but children are encouraged to bring their own as well! 

How much time can we spend reading?

The Wags & Tales Reading Program has 30-minute shifts that you can sign up for. 

What does it cost to attend the Wags & Tales Reading Program?

The fees for the program are listed below:

Tax is applied at checkout when you click the payment link.

Saving Lives Storytime (One time visit) - $5 per visit

To pay for a one-time visit:

Rescue Readers (Monthly Membership) - $15 a month

To pay for a monthly membership:

Bookworm Buddies (Yearly Membership) - $150 for the year ($30 savings!)

To pay for a yearly membership:


For session availability, please fill out the following google form. After you submit this form, our Community Outreach Coordinator, Faith will email you with the information to sign up for oreintation. 

Upcoming Events

Kauffman’s Country Store Adoption Event

May 28, 2022 (9 AM-1 PM) -

Stop by Kauffman's Country Store on May 28th and say hello to our volunteers! They are ready and willing to answer any questions you may...

Petco Adoption Event

June 4, 2022 (11:00am - 1:00pm) -

Please stop by and meet some of our adoptable pets who are looking for a great home! You can speak to some of our amazing volunteers to learn...

News & Announcements

Faith Stephens, Adoption Supervisor & Community Outreach Coordinator HSSW on Stan Milan Show

JANESVILLE, WI (WCLO) - Faith Stephens, adoption supervisor & community outreach coordinator joins the show to discuss funds received from the Streigel Family Christmas display, adoption and...

Milton High School Students Organize Pet Adoption Event

MILTON, WI ( - A pet adoption event Saturday, January 8th at Milton High School organized by students benefited the Humane Society of Southern...

Lost Pet Portal