Ark at JFK teams up with Zoundz to ease pet anxiety during travel


Science-based musical therapy to provide pets the most comfortable experience

The ARK at JFK (The ARK) has collaborated with Zoundz Music For Pets (Zoundz) to further initiatives helping enhance overall pet wellness during the traveling process.

Photo courtesy of the Ark at JFK.

Photo courtesy of the Ark at JFK.

According to a company release,1 the partnership plans to include music therapy throughout ARK’s 24/7 state-of-the-art facilities to decrease stress and anxiety in dogs and cats when facing new, unfamiliar environments. The initiative consists of installation of Zoundz music, which was composed specially for dogs and cats backed by 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,” stated Elizabeth A. Schuette, ARK president and CEO, in the release.1 “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.”

A multi-disciplinary team of music composers, producers and engineers, animal behavior researchers and specialists, and veterinarian scientists compose and curate Zoundz music. Plus, they have analyzed and interpreted its calming affects as cited in various animal behavior studies.

Some of the published research, respectively, in the journals Physiology & Behavior2 and Journal of Veterinary Behavior3 display the possibility for auditory stimulation as a highly effective environmental enrichment method for kenneled dogs, and that playing music in a shelter environment may help reduce stress inherent for many of these dogs. Furthermore, the journals Applied Animal Behaviour Science4 and Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery 20205 have published studies demonstrating in cats a significant preference for and interest in species-appropriate music compared with human music. It was also discovered that cat-specific music may reduce the stress levels of cats and increase their quality of care in veterinary clinical environments.

“Helping animals live less anxious, joyous lives is first and foremost,” said Derrick L. Garrett, Zoundz founder and CEO, in the release. “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.”

“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.”

What’s more, the ARK’s USDA-approved rest and inspection facility, Equine and Livestock Export Center, in addition to its first-of-its-kind in the country specialty Equine Import and Quarantine center, prioritize safety and efficiency in process and comfort, and offer the highest level of care for horses.1

“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 equine care during international travel,” concluded Schuette, in the release. “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.”


  1. Science-based musical therapy collaborative aims to reduce pet anxiety during travel. News release. The Ark at JFK. January 10, 2023. Accessed January 10, 2023.
  2. Bowman A, Scottish Spca, Dowell FJ, Evans NP. 'Four Seasons' in an animal rescue centre; classical music reduces environmental stress in kennelled dogs. Physiol Behav. 2015;143:70-82. doi: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.02.035.
  3. Kogan LR, Schoenfeld-Tacher R, Simon AA. Behavioral effects of auditory stimulation on kenneled dogs. J Vet Behav. 2012;7(5):268-275. doi: 10.1016/j.jveb.2011.11.002.
  4. Snowdon CT, Teie D, Savage M. Cats prefer species-appropriate music. Appl Anim Behav Sci. 2015;166:106-111. doi: 10.1016/j.applanim.2015.02.012.
  5. Hampton A, Ford A, Cox RE 3rd, Liu CC, Koh R. Effects of music on behavior and physiological stress response of domestic cats in a veterinary clinic. J Feline Med Surg. 2020;22(2):122-128. doi: 10.1177/1098612X19828131.
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