The boy was not fearful of the Pit Bull at all. Meet Jacob Tumalan, a 7-year-old boy from California. Jacob suffers from autism, but was encouraged to participate in the program “Rescue Readers”. Children are able to volunteer to read to Carson Animal Shelter’s resident dogs in Los Angeles County. Despite his condition, the boy has been reading to dogs every Thursday, after school.
His mother, Katie Tumalan, praised those visits, as they have helped Jacob to open up more to the people around him, improving his reading skills along the way. Jacob always had a big problem with loud noises and tons of activity around him. When he’s at the shelter, Jacob focuses on the dogs instead, blocking distractions out. He’ll cover his ears sometimes, but remains in tune with the dogs and his books.
Many dogs have also benefited from his visits. Especially one dog named Pirate, who is a pit bull whom Jacob has developed a special bond with. Pirate was placed in the shelter after a fight with a cat. He especially chose a book just for Pirate’s enjoyment – its about one about a kitten who wears colorful shoes. Pirate relaxes while Jacob reads and even stopped barking, listening intently.
The program, “Rescue Readers”, is one of the great ways in which we can help animals alleviate their problems. The program’s founder, also Jacob’s cousin, celebrates the program’s success, and plans to recruit more participants in the near future.