Meet the Kid of the Year Who Helps Dogs Find Forever Parents

Reading to dogs helps to calm and socialize them.

Nov 24, 2021
Meet the Kid of the Year Who Helps Dogs Find Forever Parents | Reading to dogs helps to calm and socialize them.

Evan Bisnauth is like most 11-year-old kids but he has a passion for helping shelter dogs find forever homes. He helps socialize the fur babies by reading to them and getting them ready for adoption. That’s why he was recently named the ASPCA’s Kid of the Year 2021, according to TODAY Parents.

The ASPCA reviewed hundreds of entries and selected winners in seven categories including the Kid of the Year, Dog of the Year – Loki the hero dog  was the winner –, and Cat of the Year, according to a press release from the  animal rescue  organization.

“Our 2021 ASPCA Humane Award winners represent the best of us—heroic people and organizations dedicated to helping vulnerable animals, and amazing animals who demonstrate the invaluable love and comfort they're capable of providing,” said Matt Bershadker, president and CEO of the ASPCA. It is an honor that Evan well deserves.

Evan's Interest in Shelter Dogs
Reading to dogs comes naturally to Evan who told TODAY, “I actually first read to my own dog (he has two rescue dogs) when I was learning to read and write in school,” The youth has been volunteering at New York City’s Animal Care & Control Centers (ACC) in Manhattan and Brooklyn since 2019.

Living in a shelter can cause anxiety for the animals and this can lead to excessive barking and lessen the chances of adoption, reported NY Metro Parents. Evan’s solution is to read to the dogs to help calm and socialize them so they are used to being around people. 

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“When I'm at the shelter, I like to sit down with a dog and read to them so I can get them socialized,” Evan told NY Metro Parents. “They're very nervous, and they've been through a lot. I think the calming and the flow of reading helps them take their mind off their anxiety.” 

Evan will read to all dogs but he focuses on the harder to adopt animals like larger breeds or senior ones. He loves to read books about dogs who have been adopted so that the shelter dogs will have hope that they too will find their forever homes.

Evan Didn’t Let the Pandemic Stop Him
When the pandemic and subsequent lockdown began in 2020, Evan didn’t let this deter him. “During 2020 when the whole world was on lockdown, I couldn't go into the shelter. No one really could. So, I started animating,” he said.

“I would make doggie interviews in cartoons and include their bios to raise awareness to give them the exposure they need to get adopted.”

Evan’s work has led to many dogs being adopted. Even though the lockdown is over, he continues to make the adorable animations on his Instagram page and he posts about the ACC’s dogs that need homes on social media to give them the best chance to find forever homes.

 What’s next for the kid of the year? While dogs will always be a big part of his life, he thinks his career may take a different focus.

 “My main focus isn't dogs, but I love working with them. One day I would like to own my own rescue so I could save all the dogs in need. But, I'd also like to work at NASA as an aerospace engineer,” said Evan. The future for this compassionate youth looks very bright.

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Bonnie has dedicated her life to promoting social justice. She loves to write about empowering women, helping children, educational innovations, and advocating for the environment & sustainability.