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Soothing a Savage Beast

Free CD can help calm shelter pooches

Free CD can help calm shelter pooches

Those furry critters that so many of us consider our four-legged children may have more in common with human babies than we thought. Not only are they cute, cuddly, and prone to inappropriate pooping; they are comforted in times of stress or pain by the sounds of soothing music and a strong heartbeat. And you can take advantage of that similarity in your shelter through a new offer.

Since 1985, Audio-Therapy Innovations has been sending its CD of children’s lullabies combined with the background sound of a human heartbeat to maternity wards and other places that serve frightened or sick kids.

Incidental reports had revealed that the same music had a calming effect on nearby dogs as well. But company officials didn’t investigate those claims until recently, when they offered to send the CD to members of the American Boarding Kennel Association so kennel owners could try playing the music for boarded dogs. By 2004, more than 90 kennel owners had reported that the music calmed their pooches and often decreased barking levels.

Testimonials from happy kennel owners are available online at, where the company has posted footage of dogs at the Colorado Humane Society and SPCA responding favorably to the music. As a slow, soothing version of “London Bridge” fills the kennels of the Colorado Springs shelter, the dogs go from riotous to relaxed in less than two minutes.

If you’d like to see how your own nervous pooches respond to the music, you can get a free copy of the Canine Lullabies CD; Audio-Therapy Innovations is offering them to shelters and animal control agencies across the country, says Robin Jones, assistant to the president. “When we started producing the CD for babies, we knew that hospitals and social workers needed it and so we sent them out to those groups free,” says Jones. “And shelters are the social workers for animals.”

To get your copy, call 800-537-7748 or visit For more information about the effects of music on shelter animals, see “Roll Over for Beethoven” in the November-December 2002 issue of Animal Sheltering.


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