Friends of Vance County Animal Shelter
(image via Friends of Vance County Animal Shelter Facebook)


They say music soothes the savage beast, but one North Carolina animal control officer found out it calms ordinary dogs, too. This should come as no surprise, because there have been countless studies demonstrating the calming influence of music on humans and animals. Chad Olds, who works at the Friends of Vance County Animal Shelter, has seen the results firsthand.

Busking for Tail Wags

Olds, the 40-year-old N.C. animal control officer, is a former professional musician. While he may have devoted his life to Vance County animals in need these days, it hasn't stopped him from carrying his guitar around with him. That's how he ended up busking at the shelter — that and a little encouragement from his boss.

Animal Rescue Shelters

The noisy environment at rescue shelters is notoriously stressful for the animals in their care. Understandably, the incessant barking and yowls from the dogs and cats can reach such a pitch that the tension is tangible, leaving the inhabitants — on two and four legs — on edge. It was during one of these insanely loud days that Vance County's chief of animal services, Frankie Nobles, suggested Olds try serenading the dogs.

Music as Therapy

What happened next blew them away: silence. "They just stopped barking," Olds told Today. "It blew my mind." The results were so instantaneous and unexpected that Nobles and Olds decided to tape a second session later that day, which they then shared on social media. Their reasoning was twofold: to post something that would warm people's hearts and to encourage other animal rescues to try serenading their own four-legged charges.

Campaigning for a Cause

There was actually a third reason for the video, and that was to draw attention to the shelter and the many pets inside it waiting for forever homes. The publicity seems to have worked, because the post has already garnered roughly 300,000 views on Facebook, and it was just posted on February 13.

A Star is Born

This isn't the first time a shelter has turned to social media for help in finding pet parents. Not long ago a media savvy shelter worker in Georgia created a Tinder profile for one of its hard-to-place dogs, and shelters around the nation regularly post on Facebook, Instagram and other accounts to keep their presence up in the public's view.

A lot of people surf shelters' social media pages to see what kinds of animals are available before making the trip in person. It's a win-win situation, especially if it results in an animal being adopted.

Back By Popular Demand

The impromptu concerts were such a hit that the shelter intends on continuing with them as part of their "enrichment" program, which includes treats, toys and a variety of activities designed to keep the animals' minds and bodies fully engaged while they're waiting for homes. For future performances, Nobles said that the rest of the staff has voiced an interest in getting in on the show as well.

For Olds, maybe the band's getting back together after all. . .