At Many Animal Shelters, Music Is Being Used as Therapy

And it’s working. The pets are less stressed, more personable — and getting adopted quicker. Let’s hear it for the power of music!

By: arascats
Yes to Beethoven. No to Metallica. By: arascats

There’s something about the sound of certain kinds of music that makes our troubles seem to disappear — if only for a little while.

That’s no different for dogs and cats, according to Dr. Pamela Fisher, DVM, a holistic veterinarian from Canton, Ohio.

Four years ago, Fisher began the Rescue Animal MP3 Project. Through donations of music from artists around the globe, animal-friendly tunes came flowing in.

To buy the MP3 players, Fisher holds fundraisers, applies for various grants and relies on the public’s help. To date, more than 1,100 animal shelters are filled with comforting melodies, thanks to Fisher’s relentless efforts.

While Mozart and Beethoven rank high on the animals’ playlists, they also seem to enjoy listening to the sounds of sea breezes and ocean waves. Hard rock and heavy metal? Not so much.

This video shows the calming effects of music:

A study at Colorado State University in 2012 (PDF) confirmed that dogs sleep more and bark less when they’re listening to music. Having conducted a survey of more than 500 shelters that are using the MP3 players, Fisher was pleased to learn that the animals were more relaxed.

Tania Huycke-Phillips of Bay Area Humane Society in Green Bay, Wisconsin, says that “reducing stress shows off their personalities, and they get adopted quicker.”

“The difference has been dramatic,” agrees Tina Gunther, who works at another participating shelter.

Source: Huffington Post

Gayle Hickman

View posts by Gayle Hickman
Gayle Hickman has been researching and writing about pet behaviors since 2011. In addition to Petful, her articles have appeared on Reader's Digest, Yahoo Shine and WebVet, to name a few.

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