Noise in the Animal Shelter Environment: Building Design and the Effects of Daily Noise Exposure
Sound levels in animal shelters regularly exceed 100 dB. Noise is a physical stressor on animals that can lead to behavioral, physiological, and anatomical responses. There are currently no policies regulating noise levels in dog kennels. The objective of this study was to evaluate the noise levels dogs are exposed to in an animal shelter on a continuous basis and to determine the need, if any, for noise regulations. Noise levels at a newly constructed animal shelter were measured using a noise dosimeter in all indoor dog-holding areas. These holding areas included large dog adoptable, large dog stray, small dog adoptable, small dog stray, and front intake. The noise level was highest in the large adoptable area. Sound from the large adoptable area affected some of the noise measurements for the other rooms. Peak noise levels regularly exceeded the measuring capability of the dosimeter (118.9 dBA). Often, in new facility design, there is little attention paid to noise abatement, despite the evidence that noise causes physical and psychological stress on dogs. To meet their behavioral and physical needs, kennel design should also address optimal sound range.
Coppola, C.L., Enns, R.M., and Grandin, T. (2006). Noise in the animal shelter environment: Building design and the effects of daily noise exposure. Journal of Applied Animal Welfare Science, 9(1), 1-7.
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Topic(s): Environment, Environmental Management and Monitoring, Noise Levels, Shelter and Rescue