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This Pup Is Hungry for a Good Summer Read!

The clever children’s librarians at the West Haven Public Library, in West Haven, Conn., have decided that Fido needs feeding, and the best way to do it is with a bit of juicy reading.

Children’s Librarian Bernadette Niedermeier came up with the idea to paint a super-size dog face on a cardboard box — about half the size of a refrigerator box — complete with an open mouth just waiting for treats. When a child reads for 15 minutes, he or she can take a paper “biscuit” and "feed" it to the dog.

A bag attached to the inside of the box will collect the biscuits. At the end of summer, Library Assistant Carrie Bryant and volunteers will count the paper biscuits and donate the same number of real treats to the West Haven Animal Shelter, which needs food and blankets, as well.

Carrie is asking local merchants to provide the biscuits to make this a low-cost effort for the library. She also hopes it will spark visits to the shelter, Mutt-i-grees adoptions, and perhaps additional donations, as well. Plans for this project include a name-the-pup contest for the, um “Boxer-mix."

The library expects children between the ages of 4 and 10 to make up the majority of reader-feeders, though she admits it’s possible that teens might get in on the fun, too.

Looking ahead, Carrie says that feeding Fido might even be a fun activity to incorporate into the library’s year-round weekly story times. In any case, stay tuned for photos and anecdotes about this whimsical project’s summer debut.

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