WINCHESTER, Va. (WDVM) — Who says dogs and cats aren’t into books? The critters of the Winchester, Virginia animal shelter are becoming quite literate until they find a home.

It may sound strange, but believe it or not, the dogs and cats at the shelter have their reading time. Friends from the community come to the shelter and read books, and the animals take it all in.

“They can choose what dog they want to read to,” said Jessica Duval with the SPCA Winchester shelter. “Sometimes they choose to sit back against the wall or they can read to all six dogs. Sometimes they pull up in front of a dog that’s sad looking or that they just connect with.”

Debbie Brennan said the humans who come to read are at least as much into it like the dogs and cats they’re spending time with.

“They select an animal that they may want to read to,” Brennan said. “Most of the time we find that the animals become engaged with the young reader as well. Lots of people will come in bringing their own books. We have a father who comes in with two young daughters. They come in and just continue reading one book to the dogs.”

It sends these critters howling and meowing for what’s on the next page.

“I think it helps both the animal and the individual because it helps build — like maybe some of those struggling with reading, it helps them. There’s a non-judgmental aspect of it with reading to animals they will find with dogs and cats. They’re not making any judgments,” Brennan said.

It is certainly entertainment that is appreciated by the animals but every bit as rewarding for the human visitors.

“You know they lay there and act like they’re listening, and I think they’re just happy to have someone pay attention to them,” said Duval.

These volunteers are leaving these dogs and cats with wagging tails during this holiday season. If you would like to adopt one of these dogs or cats and read to them at home, just contact the SPCA shelter in Winchester, Virginia.