A young boy in New York City has been named kid of the year by the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for his work in helping socialize adoptable dogs by reading to them.
Evan Bisnauth, 11, of the Bronx began working with animals in 2019 after his mother found a dog died to a fence near her bus stop. He and his mom then contacted the Animal Care Centers of NYC and the organization helped them find a place for that dog. That's when Bisnauth started volunteering with Books for Boroughbreds, the ACC's community program for kids.
"When I meet up with them they're very scared and they feel very vulnerable," Bisnauth said. "But I try to help them feel like we're just trying to help them. I like to sit with them and talk with them."
When the pandemic began, the young animal lover could no longer visit the shelters and read to the dogs. Still, he kept on posting photos and videos of adoptable animals on his Instagram, @eb_and_the_pets, and he created colorful animations of those pets in order to help them find their forever homes.
"I like to get the animals some exposure and help them get adopted," Bisnauth told NBC New York.
Bisnauth also came up with the idea of interviewing shelter dogs to show their personality to potential adopters.
"It's like a little show. I'd ask them questions about themselves so people could see how they behave, what they like...information about them," he said. "So I couldn't be there, but I could get them the exposure they need."
The 11-year-old says he wants to continue helping dogs when he grows up, maybe have his own rescue organization, but it might not be his main focus because he says he wants to work for NASA one day.
Bisnauth will be among other ASPCA award winners on Wednesday at a virtual luncheon to celebrate their commitment to animal welfare.