Animal shelter uses music to calm dogs

Published: Jul. 18, 2013 at 10:50 PM EDT|Updated: Jul. 22, 2013 at 10:51 PM EDT
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Music helps calm animals at the New Hanover County Animal Shelter.
Music helps calm animals at the New Hanover County Animal Shelter.

NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WECT) - Dogs in New Hanover County are wagging their tails to a new beat. The shelter is taking part in a new program which uses music to help calm the animals down.

Through the Rescue Animal MP3 Project, they were able to get a free MP3 player and some tunes for the pups.  Shelter Supervisors say it's already making a big difference.

"It's made a huge difference, the dogs are quiet," said Nancy Ryan. "Once that music turns on they settle down."

The dogs listen to classical music mixed in with nature sounds like rushing water and bird calls.

"It's the same thing you would listen to in a day spa if you were getting a massage," said Ryan who says it has the same effect at the shelter.  She says the dogs still bark when they first see visitors, but then minutes later they settle down and are quiet.

"The appeal is it's soothing," said Ryan.  She says with all of the noises and smells shelters are stressful for the animals. She says the music helps distract them.

Ryan said the music gives the animals something to listen to other than a dog barking or a person giving them instructions.

"In the same way you would turn to music to relax it has the same effect on the animals," explained Ryan.

She says it's also helping out people who work at the shelter, making things quieter for those who work at the front desk.

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