Pet food manufacturing company, Burns Pet Nutrition is sponsoring a project that has helped countless children across the UK and America to learn to read with the help of a four-legged canine friend.
Danny is a rescue greyhound who was found wandering the streets of Cork in Ireland. He was adopted by Tony Nevett who specialises in animal assisted therapy. Tony immediately noticed qualities in Danny that would be suitable for a programme that had been designed to help young children learn to read with the help of a canine companion. Danny is the second of Tony’s dogs to participate in the READ programme, which was developed in America by Intermountain Therapy Animals but has now been adopted by many countries throughout the world. By reading to a dog as opposed to a parent or teacher, a child starts to build up their confidence which ultimately improves their reading and communication skills.
As well as visiting schools around the UK and across America, Danny appears in his own set of children’s books, which tell of his adventures including his trip to the USA in Danny Strikes Out in America. The book was taken on by the Cedar Rapids Kernels Baseball Team as part of their summer reading programme providing assistance to schools and libraries in Iowa.
Danny has since gone on to be something of a celebrity and is supported by a number of well-known faces from the world of pop music, stage and screen and has even visited the Prime Minster at 10 Downing Street. He is also the only dog to be given a mention in an Ofsted Report.
Burns Pet Nutrition provides Danny’s food and helps with his travelling expenses. Steve Chilvers, marketing director at Burns Pet Nutrition said: “We are absolutely delighted to be sponsoring Danny. It is such a marvellous project and helps to promote dogs in such a good light. We are hoping to help Tony and Danny to translate their books into the Welsh language as well, so that schools that teach in the Welsh medium will also have the opportunity to benefit from this scheme.”