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Jan 1, 2013 1:13 PM by Samantha Ptashkin

Pima Animal Care Center to soothe stressed pups with Mozart

TUCSON - Giving Champ a bone is one way to keep him calm and quiet.

But it's not Judi Davis' first choice.

Instead she prefers classical music to keep her canine cool. "I always think Mozart's music is very happy and it's very uplifting," Davis says. "That's what my taste is, so I guess I passed that on to Champ."

Davis started playing the compositions for her red golden retriever on walks, or car rides. "Usually when we're in the car I actually think it settles him down a little bit," Davis says. "I notice he's much more apt to lay down in the back and just be a little bit more calm."

Classical music's calming effect on dogs has been proven in several studies, including one released in October 2012 by a Colorado State University researcher. It determined dogs in shelter environments were less likely to bark and more likely to sleep when classical music was played.

That is why the Pima Animal Care Center is joining its non-profit foundation, PACC Partners, in fundraising to buy a sound system that will play classical music throughout the shelter. "It's tight quarters and they're feeding off of each other with barking and it's just not a home environment," says Justin Gallick of the Pima Animal Care Center.

He hopes a chorus of barks, muffled by the sound of Mozart will help keep the stress down, making the animals more likely to be adopted. "Anytime an animal, dog or cat, is stressed, they're a little more introverted and they're not as outgoing," Gallick says. "So if you can decrease the stress levels, they'll be more affectionate and actually show a little more of their personality."

Davis thinks playing the music at the shelter is a great idea.

Champ is a shelter dog himself. "I can tell he's a better animal because of it," Davis says.

Gallick says the sound system will cost about $10,000. So far PACC Partners has raised about $5,000. If you would like to make a donation, head to www.paccpartners.org/

You can also call: (520)243-5900 or email: paccpartners@gmail.com

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