Her Guitar Eases the Loneliness of These Shelter Animals

Singer Kitty Snyder forms a connection with these cats and dogs by sharing her music.

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- Posted on Aug 24, 2018

Kitty Snyder croons to a captive audience.

Shelters can be noisy and stressful places for animals. But something special happens when Kitty Snyder, an Atlanta-based musician, walks into DeKalb County Animal Services in Chamblee, Georgia, playing her guitar and singing for the dogs and cats.

Snyder, who’s always had a strong bond with animals, began volunteering at the shelter in 2014. “I rescued my dog 12 years ago,” she says. “Since then, I have been fostering and walking dogs in need of permanent homes and finally found a great local place to volunteer.”

Earlier this year, Tracy Hunton Thompson, the director of LifeLine Animal Project (the shelter’s managing organization), had an idea for Snyder, based on a viral video she’d seen of Chad Olds, an animal service officer and musician in North Carolina who plays at the shelter where he works. “She asked if I could bring my guitar and play for the animals, to see if it would help calm them,” Snyder says.

And it did. Snyder’s gigs at the shelter last for up to an hour. She says some animals lie down and relax. Others lean toward her, fixing their gaze on her as she serenades them. She’ll move from cage to cage, so each animal feels as if it’s getting personal attention. Now, many recognize her when she arrives.

“For me, this is all about having a connection with these animals,” Snyder says. “I want to help ease their loneliness and give them something fun or relaxing to do while they’re waiting for their forever families.”

The animals aren’t the only ones benefiting from these singing sessions—Snyder says her heart is fulfilled. “I’ve started bringing my six-year-old daughter along so she can see that the littlest things make a difference.”

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