First Grade Teacher Fosters 18 Puppies In Her Classroom — Research Says It's Beneficial For Both Students & Puppies

Who knew that adorable puppies could also help you read!?

classroom, foster puppies @fostertalespt / TikTok 

A first-grade teacher will most certainly go down in history as her students’ favorite after she incorporated playtime with puppies into her classroom. 

The opportunity not only allowed the children to unwind from their schoolwork and have the chance to cuddle with the animals, but also provided some of the puppies with a forever home. 

The teacher fostered 18 puppies in her first-grade classroom for students to interact with during the day. 

Brooke, a teacher and proud puppy-foster mom from Wilmington, Delaware, decided to combine both of her jobs by bringing puppies into her classroom, something she and her students were ecstatic about. 


In a TikTok video that has been viewed over 1 million times, Brooke shares various clips of her students playing with the puppies, reading to them, walking them through the school hallways, and holding them on their laps during lessons. 

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girl playing with foster puppy in classroomPhoto: @fostertalespt / TikTok


The children, and the puppies, are clearly having the time of their lives! 

Brooke’s idea originally did not seem realistic to her colleagues. “People originally laughed when I said wanted to bring foster puppies into my first-grade classroom!” she captioned her video. However, the introduction of the foster puppies to her classroom led to the adoption of 18 of the foster puppies who were taken in by the families of her students.

“This year we helped 18 puppies get out of the shelter and find fur-ever homes,” Brooke revealed. 

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TikTok users were touched by Brooke’s efforts and how her students interacted with the puppies. 



“The puppies get wonderfully socialized and the kids learn how to act around dogs! Lovely all around!” one user commented. “I would end up with 18 puppies getting adopted and coming to my house,” another user admitted. 


Photo: @fostertalespt / TikTok

Other people who worked in schools were inspired by the idea and expressed their desire to introduce foster puppies into their own classrooms. 

“I am a principal who would do this in a heartbeat if I could figure out how. I think therapy dogs are life-changing,” one user shared. “Normalize fostering puppies in classrooms!” another user added. 


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Research has demonstrated that the presence of dogs in the classroom improves students' reading comprehension and reduces stress levels. 

Having dogs present in classrooms is actually more beneficial than we may assume. According to researchers at UC Davis’s School of Veterinary Medicine, reading aloud to dogs has proven to improve a child’s reading comprehension skills and confidence. In a study conducted by the school, a group of kids visited rescue dogs once a week for ten weeks, reading aloud to them for just 15 to 20 minutes each time. 75% of their parents reported a dramatic increase in their child’s reading frequency and confidence. 

Additionally, the presence of dogs helps encourage cognitive, social, and emotional development in children and reduces anxiety. 


Introducing foster puppies to classrooms also allows the family of students to adopt them from a shelter, sparing them from euthanization and cruel treatment. 

It looks like Brooke’s idea will become more popular with other teachers looking for interactive and improved methods to keep their students engaged in the classroom!

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Megan Quinn is a writer at YourTango who covers entertainment and news, self, love, and relationships.