Local woman sings to cats, dogs at shelter
Decatur resident Kitty Snyder is used to playing in front of a crowd of people, but recently the local musician opted to play in front of a four-legged audience instead.
Snyder, who has released an album and toured throughout her singing career, said she got a call from her friend Tracy Thompson, shelter director at Lifeline Animal Project, with an unusual request.
Thompson watched a viral video of animal control officer Chad Olds singing to shelter animals in Henderson, N.C. Thompson then asked Snyder if she would be interested in doing something similar.
“It was such an easy yes because I needed to practice anyway,” said Snyder, laughing. “[The animals] are happy with anybody doing anything around them. People can just go spend time with them. We thought it would be a cool, unique idea.”
Snyder, who had an upcoming performance at Eddie’s Attic in Decatur, said practicing at home can be boring at times because her pets are so accustomed to her singing they sometimes ignore her. However, the animals at Lifeline Animal Shelter were the perfect audience, she said.
“My daughter usually does her own thing and my dogs and cats have heard me a million times,” Snyder said. “The [shelter animals] were so amazing. They were all just perfectly quiet and some were sitting up and watching me and some were looking around and they were all so peaceful.”
Lifeline Animal Project spokesperson Karen Hirsch said the organization is grateful for Snyder performing at one of their DeKalb shelters and spending time with the animals. She said animals listening to music is a fantastic way to keep them calm in a stressful environment.
“We think she’s one of our amazing supporters and we’re grateful for everything she does. We know that the animals really enjoy being sung to and she makes eye contact with them and it just soothes them,” Hirsch said.
Snyder said she wants people to know you don’t have to sing to the animals to make them feel better, just spend time with them.
“It’s tough for me when I’m on stage, but it’s worth it because I love to sing. With the animals, it’s easier because they know I’m connecting with them through my music and they appreciate any attention they get. People always have that fear of being judged but a dog or cat will listen to it passively or enjoy it,” Snyder said.
Snyder said she plans to continue to use her musical gift to help animals and children.
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