Animal Welfare Professionals

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  • 1.  Shelter Sound System

    Posted 11-18-2021 09:41 AM
    We are interested in setting up a sound system for the shelter where we can "pipe in" calming (and of course seasonal!) music to all the animals and people in the shelter. Does anyone have experience putting in a system? We are hoping we can do it all "bluetooth" with limited wiring. Our shelter is mostly cinderblock.  Does anyone have experience with this? Have you found specific types of music that help calm the shelter animals? Thank you!

    Erin Hooks

  • 2.  RE: Shelter Sound System

    Posted 11-19-2021 05:49 AM
    Hi Erin,

    Good question. We used echo dots that we could turn on and off remotely for this purpose. When it comes to what type of music classical music has some indications that it might be a beneficial form of auditory enrichment so do audiobooks. You will have to monitor the feedback from the animals as to determine their preferences. We had some dogs that liked Jazz and a cat who seemed to enjoy Harry Potter audiobooks in our shelter.

    Christine D. Calder DVM
    Diplomate, American College of Veterinary Behaviorists
    Calder Veterinary Behavior Services

    Veterinary Behaviorist
    Behavior Specialist, MPF

  • 3.  RE: Shelter Sound System

    Posted 11-19-2021 02:47 PM
    There was a great session I attended during the ASPCA-AAWA Research Forum on November 3rd called "Measuring & Minimizing Sound in Shelters to Improve Cat Welfare". The presenter was Bailey Eagan from the University of British Columbia Animal Welfare Program. I know you didn't specifically ask about cats but this presentation was SO good and included a lot of actionable items to help reduce stress. I highly recommend it! In addition to music, the presentation touched on other sources of noise like dishes, doors, cabinets, human voices, and cage reverberations and included ways to mitigate them.  

    The session is available to watch for free at ASPCAOnline (Again, I highly recommend!).  Here's how:
    I love that you're looking for ways to help the animals and people who visit your shelter and hope this is a helpful resource for you!

    Kim Domerofski (she/her)
    Community Manager
    Maddie's Fund

  • 4.  RE: Shelter Sound System

    Posted 11-20-2021 04:16 AM

    Thank you, Kim!  I will definitely watch this. I have a sound engineer coming to do a walk-through next week, too. Hoping to make a big difference in a QUIET way!


    Erin Hooks

    Director of Development

    Humane Society of Catawba County

    (828) 464-8878