Skip to content

Pet Pals

More than 20 shelter dogs found homes, thanks to letters that were written by students!

Richmond Animal Care & Control

More than 20 dogs from an animal shelter in Richmond, Virginia, recently found their forever homes, thanks to a group of thoughtful 7 and 8 year olds. Letters written by students in Ms. Jones’s 2nd-grade class helped convince pet adopters to give a special group of dogs—and one cat—a second look.

These weren’t ordinary letters. Each one was written from the point of view of a shelter dog or cat. 

“Hi, my name is Sleigh Ride. Do you want to adopt me?” read one letter, according to National Public Radio. “You can snuggle with me! I promise that I will be a good dog.”

Teacher Kensey Jones says she started the letter-writing project after volunteering at Richmond Animal Care and Control (RACC). Most of the animals at the shelter find homes within a few weeks. But some of them remain there for months because they are older or not quite as well behaved as other dogs, making them harder to adopt out. Jones told Christie Peters, the director of the shelter, all about her idea for the project. Peters loved it.

Jones identified 23 dogs and one cat that had been at the shelter for a while. She gave their photos and descriptions to her students, who then wrote the letters and drew pictures of the animals. Each letter and drawing about a dog or cat was posted in front of that animal’s kennel at the shelter. Jones and her students hoped that the letters would convince people not to overlook these longtime shelter residents.

The plan worked. Most of the 24 animals have found homes of their very own. Jones says she hopes other teachers will have their students do something similar for animals in local shelters. As for the students, they’re excited about the effect that their letters have had.

A few words can make a big difference.

Fun Fact Icon

Fun Fact

Waiter wearing white gloves and holding a silver tray with three cans of dog food on it

© Steve Cukrov/; © george tsartsianidis—iStock/Getty Images Plus

Many pet food companies use human testers to taste their products. Experienced testers can help companies create new pet food recipes.

Party On, Pets!

Two hands holding a white rat with gray markings

© Akifyeva Svetlana—iStock/Getty Images Plus

A famous saying goes, “Every dog has its day.” It turns out that dogs, cats, and other animals have lots of days! Here are some days that have been set aside to celebrate our favorite critters.

January 14: National Dress Up Your Pet Day (U.S.)

January 21: Squirrel Appreciation Day

February 23: National Dog Biscuit Day (U.S.)

March 23: National Puppy Day (U.S.)

March 28: Respect Your Cat Day (U.S.)

April 4: World Rat Day

May 20: National Rescue Dog Day (U.S.)

May 23: World Turtle Day

June 4: Hug Your Cat Day (U.S.)

July 10: National Kitten Day (U.S.)

August 8: International Cat Day

August 10: Spoil Your Dog Day (U.S.)

September 24: International Rabbit Day

October 4: World Animal Day

October 27: National Black Cat Day (U.K.)

November 1: National Cook for Your Pets Day (U.S.)

December 2: National Mutt Day (U.S.)

National Pet Month

A kitten, two birds, and a snake rest on a large dog that is looking at a cat while a goldfish bowl, rabbit, guinea pig, ferret, and puppy sit on the floor

© Isselee/

National Pet Month is in April in the United Kingdom and May in the United States. To celebrate, learn more about why we love our furry, feathery, and scaly pals.

Word of the Day Icon

Word of the Day


Part of speech:



: kind or gentle to people or animals

Definitions provided by
Merriam-Webster Logo
Game Icon


Can you find 12 words about transportation?