Pasco Animal Services working to make quieter shelter and happier dogs

Posted at 3:38 PM, Mar 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-28 18:40:53-04

Going to an animal shelter can be a deafening experience because of all the barking, but Pasco County is doing something to make it more pleasant for visitors and the dogs.

"It's like being at a rock concert that you don’t enjoy," said Joe Varner.

Varner is explaining his experience of walking through the back adoption building at Pasco County Animal Services. 

"In the other building you can hear and have a conversation. You can listen to what the handlers are talking about in describing the pets, over here you can’t here anything," said Varner.

That’s because the front adoption building has sound proofing material on the ceiling to prevent the sounds from bouncing off the walls. Pasco County Animal Services is starting renovations on the back building next week too as part of their Sound Abatement Project to add the same kind of sound proofing material to the ceiling. 

Brenda Gale volunteers at the shelter three days a week. She says she's relieved that both buildings will be quieter. 

"You just feel like “ah” get me outta here when you’re in that other building and I feel sorry for the dogs too," said Gail.

Workers and volunteers say the dogs in the soundproof building seem much happier.

"The dogs definitely seem a lot happier since we've had the sound abatement done. You can even see them taking naps in the middle of the day, which in the other building it's not as much because it's so loud, creating a lot of anxiety for the dogs," said Rachel Stever, Pasco County Animal Services educational director.

The Sound Abatement is only one part of a two year project to renovate the buildings. 

To make room for renovations, on Saturday the shelter is holding a special adoption event from noon to 6:30 at Pasco County Animal Services at 19640 Dogpatch Ln, in Land O'Lakes. All large dog adoption fees will be waived during the event.

Pasco County Animal Services says they never euthanize dogs for space and their euthanasia rate is extremely low, currently at only five percent. Workers say those five percent usually come into the shelter with injuries too severe to treat or the dog is too dangerous to be around people. 

"90 to 95 percent of the dogs that come here are adopted and we work really hard to keep those numbers as high as possible," said Stever.