Lubbock Animal Shelter serenades pets to make their stay more comfortable

KCBD Newschannel 11 at 10 Animal Shelter Singer 8/23/2019

LUBBOCK, Texas (KCBD) - Usually when you walk into the animal shelter you expect to hear meowing and barking, but now you might hear a new sound - a guitar.

The shelter is rolling out a new music program to help make the animals a bit more comfortable while they wait to be adopted.

The first to sign on for the musical experiment is self-proclaimed animal enthusiast Kurt Melle. Melle has been spending some of his time playing for an audience of four-legged animals.

“Well let me tell you, it was not what I expected. You’ve got the animals that are really into the music and you’ve got folks that were wishing they were someplace else, so I try to focus on the people with what I call with their big ears on, people that are really focused on listening to the music.”

The idea to sing to the animals came from L.A.S. volunteer Angie Skinner who says she saw it on another shelter’s Facebook page. She decided to create their own post to recruit musically-inclined volunteers to play for their pets.

“There’s always 400 to 600 dogs here so they need something to calm them down. It makes them more presentable for the public and it helps them. I made a post on Facebook and several people responded. Kurt was the first one that was able to come in and do it.”

Kurt Mele singing to Lubbock Animal Shelter pets.
Kurt Mele singing to Lubbock Animal Shelter pets. (Source: Amanda Ruiz)

Melle says the animals respond best to minor key songs.

“Even though they might be melancholy tunes, if I can see it has an effect on them, then I would say those are my favorite.”

The music calms most of the pups down.

“It’s really interesting to watch him walk through there. When Kurt’s playing, you see people, citizens, and customers with big wide eyes. They’re just kind of amazed that you have somebody serenading dogs. It really soothes them and it soothes the dogs,” said Steven Greene, Lubbock Animal Services Director.

As for Mele, he says he does it for the animals. “The fact that I'm helping those feel good.”

If you would like to volunteer your musical talents, contact the Lubbock Animal Shelter directly.

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