Sound of music calms canines at pound

The next time you go to the Mahoning County Dog Pound, you’ll hear more than the sound of barking. Chris Davidson brings us the story of an experiment designed to help calm the canines, who are in need of a good home.

Rick Tunison, the kennel supervisor and technician at the Mahoning County Dog Pound, has been using the Rescue Animal MP3 Project program for about a week with good results. “You can definitely notice a difference in the dogs’ demeanor,” he said. (Chris Davidson/TheNewsOutlet.org)

Rick Tunison, the kennel supervisor and technician at the Mahoning County Dog Pound, has been using the Rescue Animal MP3 Project program for about a week with good results. “You can definitely notice a difference in the dogs’ demeanor,” he said. (Chris Davidson/TheNewsOutlet.org)

About 30 dogs at the dog pound are listening to music, while they wait to be adopted. Rick Tunison is the kennel supervisor

TUNISON: This is something that – we figured we would give it a try and see how it worked. We’ve been using it for about a week and you can definitely notice a difference in the dogs’ demeanor.

Dog Warden Dianne Fry says the music calms the dogs.

FRY: It reduces the stress. A stressed out dog or a frightened dog is so much more apt to bite or be more aggressive or more fearful or any of those things and – it calms them down.

Tunison is pleased with the experiment.

TUNISON: 80 percent of them will actually go up on their beds, lay down. There are points in the day where you actually open the kennel door and you will not hear a single sound in there. They’ll actually be sleeping or laying there listening to the music

Those statistics aren’t surprising to the woman behind the music, North Canton veterinarian Pamela Fisher.

FISHER: The results are much more dramatic then I even hoped for.

She reports that at some shelters, they see a 90 percent decrease in barking but …

FISHER: On average, 53 percent less barking; 58 percent on average, calmer of the animals.

Fisher started the Rescue Animal MP3 Project two-and-a-half years ago, and now her program is piped into 842 locations.

FISHER: They are in all 50 states. There is one in Spain, and one in Zimbabwe, Africa, and several in Canada.

Thirty hours of music is given to government and non-profit shelters free of charge.

FISHER: Calming harp music, there is piano, there is electronic piano and vibrational healing tonations. There is a little bit of waves – ocean waves music – there is some lullabies with a heartbeat, which seems to help calm the animals.

More than 90,000 animals are listening to music provided by the Rescue Animal MP3 Project.

FISHER: It’s a wonderful thing – music. Heal the body, let the body be calmer, so you get better communication between the cells and circulation and brings about healing.

For TheNewsOutlet.org, I’m Chris Davidson.

TheNewsOutlet.org is a collaborative effort among the Youngstown State University journalism program, The University of Akron, Cuyahoga Community College and professional media outlets including, WYSU-FM Radio and The Vindicator (Youngstown), The Beacon Journal and Rubber City Radio (Akron).

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