Music Helps Shelter Animals Have Sweet Cat Naps And Doggie Dreams

LOS ANGELES (AP) — Can music tame the savage beast? Can it hush puppies and calm kitties?

A veterinarian thinks so. Dr. Pamela Fisher has put music in over 1,100 animal shelters, saying that it calms dogs and cats, and even cuts down on barking.

Fisher started the nonprofit Rescue Animal MP3 Project nearly four years ago by asking artists around the world to donate dog- and cat-friendly music. The result was MP3 players packed with 30 hours of classics, including music by Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin, nursery rhymes like “Three Blind Mice” and harps, pianos and violins mimicking ocean waves and gentle breezes. She gives them free to animal shelters, sanctuaries and spay-and-neuter clinics.

“I have used therapeutic music in my practice and wanted to figure out a way to help the shelter animals in my own community,” said Fisher, a holistic veterinarian whose practice in North Canton, Ohio, includes alternative approaches like aromatherapy. Her “community” has grown to include shelters in all 50 states that house over 115,000 dogs and cats.

One fan is Tina Gunther, vet tech at the Cut Bank Animal Shelter near Cut Bank, Montana, and its sole volunteer (there are no paid employees). Winter temperatures at the rural shelter for six dogs and six cats routinely run well below zero, and “the wind blows nearly every day. We call them black blizzards — the top soil is just blown away,” Gunther said.

To calm the animals, Gunther tried the radio. Besides hit-and-miss reception, the news and sports had people yelling and disturbing sound bites. Then the project MP3 player was installed for the dogs on one side. “The difference has been dramatic,” she said.

She and her husband had to buy a second player for the cats. “When they play songs they like, they go and sit by the speakers,” —> Read More