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Therapy Animals Help Children Learning To Read

By Garvin Thomas
|  Wednesday, May 1, 2013  |  Updated 10:17 AM PDT
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For a child just learning to read, doing it in front of an adult can be intimidating. Not so in front of four-year-old Crystal. It's not because of her age, though. It's because of her species.

For a child just learning to read, doing it in front of an adult can be intimidating. Not so in front of four-year-old Crystal. It's not because of her age, though. It's because of her species.

There's any easy way to tell the difference between a service and therapy animals: service animals help their owners, therapy animals help others.

The more than 500 animals who make up Furry Friends Pet Assisted Thereapy Services fit squarely into the second category. They make regular visits to hospitals and nursing homes; wherever the calming presence of a dog, cat, or even a rabbit, will help patients get through whatever ordeal they are facing.

Since 2009, though, Furry Friends have been showing up in an unsual spot: libraries. Their job there is to simply listen to children read.

To see what it looks like and why they do it, watch Garvin Thomas' story above.

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