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Last Updated: Tuesday, 31 January 2006, 11:06 GMT
Bach soothes animals at shelter
Former canine residents: Picture from West Hatch animal centre
The dogs prefer classical music to pop or dance, staff said
An RSCPA rescue centre has installed a 2,000 sound system to play soothing classical music to stressed dogs.

Staff at the kennels in West Hatch, near Taunton, Somerset, said they now hear Bach rather than barks.

The animals are said to respond well to the strains of Beethoven and Mozart, but are not fans of pop or dance music.

Deputy manager Anita Clarke said: "It's a very stressful environment for the dogs to be in here, so anything that can help is worth a go."

'Calming effect'

The cost of the music system was met through fundraising by the Friends of West Hatch.

Whale sounds and panpipes are also played and sometimes radio output so the animals get used to hearing people talking.

Ms Clarke said: "Music is proven to have a calming effect on both animals and people.

"It definitely works. It's quieter in the kennels now because if one dog barks when it's quiet they all start but if music's playing they don't."

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