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Front Street Shelter Hopes To Quiet Barking For Benefit Of Dogs, Workers

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SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — Sacramento’s Front Street Shelter is hoping some new additions will not only help improve the health of its staff, but its four-legged residents as well.

Walk through the shelter and you’re drowning in the sound of dogs barking.

“When they’re all going, it’s almost like it beats inside of you,” said manager Gina Knepp.

The barking at the shelter can get so loud, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration actually told the city to do something about it.

Workers like Kasie Robles who work in the kennels every day have custom ear plugs to deal with the noise.

But staff here say they’re more concerned about the animals, since research shows high noise levels can affect their behavior and make them appear less adoptable.

“If it’s very loud, they become hyper-aroused,” Knepp said. “There’s a lot of sometimes aggressive behavior. They’re just anxious and fearful. It’s a loud, scary place.”

So a nonprofit that supports Front Street applied for and received a $10,000 grant from the Petco Foundation. And because of the benefit for workers, the city kicked in $13,000 to help install sound dampening panels in one-third of the kennels.

Measurements taken inside of the kennel before the installation show a sound level of 104 decibels, or louder than a chain saw.

More measurements will be taken next week to see if the first round of panels are working. From there, the goal is to outfit the rest of the kennels.

Front Street would need about $60,000 or $70,000 to finish the project. If you’re interested in helping, click here.

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