The Burns by Your Side scheme involves volunteers and their trained companion dogs visiting schools to sit with children who could benefit from improved reading and communication skills. There, the child will sit and read to the dog while the volunteer ensures the child and dog’s safety at all times.
The scheme currently operates in 50 Welsh schools across Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Ceredigion and Neath Port Talbot supported by 53 volunteers and their dogs.
Burns Pet Nutrition founder, John Burns, said: “We established our Charitable Foundation to make a difference in the local community, to change lives and support those in need in whatever way possible. Burns by your Side is our flagship project.
“To see the demand for our reading dogs service increase so quickly is testament to our incredible volunteers and the scheme itself. I would like to encourage any school that would like to trial the scheme to get in touch, and similarly any dog owners that think their pet would make the perfect reading companion.”