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Tracking Dogs Inspire Kids to "Read for a Reason"

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dog and child

June 16, 2011

To kick off the County Library’s Summer Reading Club, a team of search and rescue beagles visited children at the Poway Library Thursday. Some kids even read their favorite books aloud to the friendly animals.

It was a fitting meeting: This summer, kids and adults can “Read for a Reason,” to benefit the beagles and the entire Sheriff’s Department’s Search and Rescue Canine Unit. As participants meet reading goals through the summer, a group of local sponsors has committed to buying lighted collars and canine first-aid kits for the dogs.

“Read for a Reason is a great way to show support for the library while also making a difference,” said Library Director José Aponte. “This program encourages civic engagement and volunteerism among customers of all ages.”

The Sheriff’s search and rescue dogs are specially trained animals whose owner-handlers volunteer with them. The dogs assist with missing people searches about twice a month, often working after dark. Lighted collars will help handlers follow their tracking dogs as they work, and special first-aid kits will help the dogs if they get hurt in tricky terrain. For more information on Sheriff’s Search and Rescue, visit the Sheriff's website.

Read for a Reason takes place every summer as part of the Library's Summer Reading Club. The program focuses on a different cause each year. In 2010, over 9,500 library customers participated in the program, which benefited the Watershed Project and promoted eco-friendly habits for clean water.

Read for a Reason is made possible with sponsorship from the County of San Diego Department of Animal Services, Search Gear, and Spay Neuter Action Project of San Diego (SNAP). Learn more or sign up on the Read for a Reason website.