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The ARK, Zoundz Music Therapy Partnership Reduces Pet Travel Anxiety

Julia Rivera//January 10, 2023//

The ARK, Zoundz Music Therapy Partnership Reduces Pet Travel Anxiety

Julia Rivera //January 10, 2023//

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Press release: The ARK

Delivering high-quality pre- and post-travel animal care and veterinary services, The ARK at JFK has joined forces with Zoundz Music For Pets to advance initiatives focused on improving overall pet wellness throughout the traveling process. The creative partnership to incorporate music therapy throughout ARK’s 24/7 state-of-the-art facilities aspires to reduce stress and anxiety in dogs and cats when encountering new and unfamiliar environments. The collaboration involves installation of Zoundz music, which was composed specifically for dogs and cats based on scientific findings, in ARK’s reception, kennel, veterinary exam area and in transit vehicles.

“The ARK is committed to the comfort, safety and well-being of pets and their owners throughout boarding and while in transit,” said Elizabeth A. Schuette, ARK president and CEO. “We are dedicated to implementing industry best practices and utilizing innovative tools and solutions to provide an ongoing superior experience for our animal and human clients alike.”

Zoundz music is composed and curated by a multidisciplinary team of music composers, producers and engineers, animal behavior researchers and specialists and veterinarian scientists who evaluate and interpret calming attributes from notable animal behavior studies.

“Helping animals live less anxious, joyous lives is first and foremost,” said Derrick L. Garrett, Zoundz founder and CEO. “We’ve composed an extensive library of songs carefully created with species-appropriate tempo, sound frequency and instrumentation to deliver maximum calming effects to dogs and cats during stressful situations.”

Research published in the journals Physiology & Behavior and Journal of Veterinary Behavior, respectively, show the potential for auditory stimulation as a highly effective environmental enrichment technique for kenneled dogs and playing music in a shelter environment may help mitigate some of the stress inherent for many of these dogs. Also, key scientific findings published in the journals Applied Animal Behaviour Science and Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 2020 showed – in cats – a significant preference for and interest in species-appropriate music compared with human music, and cat-specific music may benefit cats by decreasing the stress levels and increasing the quality of care in veterinary clinical settings.

“With a better understanding of how music can influence behavior through science, we’re excited to expand our efforts with The ARK to help more animals relax pre- and post- travel,” said Garrett. “Additionally, the Zoundz Music For Pets app allows pet parents to calm, condition and connect with their pets to help dogs and cats maintain a relaxed emotional state in a variety of everyday situations.”

The ARK’s USDA-approved rest and inspection facility – Equine and Livestock Export Center – along with the first of its kind in the United States specialty Equine Import and Quarantine center, focus on safety and efficiency in process and comfort, and provide the highest level of care for horses.

“We recognize that importing horses can be stressful for the owner, agent and animal; our staff of experienced and dedicated handlers and grooms understand the unique demands of equinecare during international travel,” said Schuette. “The ARK hopes to extend the Zoundz music installations to the equine barns once we experience the efficacy of the music in our kennels and Zoundz produces additional content for our equine friends.” 

Operating pursuant to a lease approved by the board of The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ) and approved by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), The ARK at JFK, (ARK) located in Cargo Building 78 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK), was constructed by ARK Development, LLC. It is a 178,000-square-foot, $65 million state-of-the-art animal reception and specialty cargo terminal. Since its opening on January 2, 2017, ARK has become the world’s prototype and standard for a privately-owned, airport-based 24-hour animal reception and quarantine terminal.  

Zoundz Music For Pets is a Connecticut-based company offering an app-based music solution, featuring a library of proprietary music to calm anxious pets. Created for pet parents and pet professionals, the species-specific music is composed specifically to reduce stress levels in dogs and cats. The portfolio of Zoundz music recognizes the separate and distinct needs of dogs and cats, a wide range of usage situations, as well as the emotional state of the pet owner and/or care provider. The Zoundz music collection is composed using attributes that were determined to have the maximum calming effect on dogs and cats in well-regarded animal behavior studies and Zoundz primary behavioral research. The music features species-appropriate tempo, sound frequency and instrumentation to deliver maximum calming effects on pets.