west-haven-public-library-feed-the-dog-initiativeThe clever children’s librarians at the West Haven Public Library, in Connecticit, decided that Fido needs feeding, and the best way to do it is with a bit of juicy reading.

The Children’s Librarian 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 collects the biscuits. Library staff and volunteers 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.

Local merchants provided the biscuits to make this a low-cost effort for the library. It also sparked visits to the shelter, Mutt-i-grees adoptions, and additional donations, as well. This project also included a name-the-pup contest for the, um “Boxer-mix.”

Children between the ages of 4 and 10 to made up the majority of reader-feeders, though some teens got in on the fun, too.