Minneapolis animal shelter and MacPhail Center For Music announce Play for Paws

April 3, 2024

Music students can play instruments for an animal audience

Minneapolis Animal Care & Control is introducing the Play for Paws program, through a partnership with MacPhail Center For Music.

Play for Paws offers MacPhail Center For Music students the opportunity to gain performance experience by playing music for the animals at the shelter. Students will be able to walk through the dog and cat areas within the shelter and play their instruments for animals in need.

“The kennel environment, even for a short time, is a potential stressor for most animals,” said Madison Weissenborn, animal shelter volunteer and outreach coordinator. “Studies have shown the presence of music in shelter settings has led to increased time sleeping and decreased vocalizations, decreasing some of the stress for many shelter pets.”

MacPhail students wanting to participate in the program need to first visit the animal shelter for a tour. After some introductory paperwork to sign up for Play for Paws, students will be able to play for the pets 1-5 p.m. Monday-Friday.

“Our hope with this program is to bring local musicians into our shelter to provide auditory enrichment and decrease stress while giving students a chance to perform in front of a very adorable audience,” said Weissenborn.

Minneapolis Animal Care & Control partners with the community to ensure the health and safety of pets and people by promoting and supporting responsible and humane care of animals.

Its staff includes two veterinarians, three veterinary technicians, four animal care technicians and a dozen animal control officers who, among other things, rescue animals, enforce laws pertaining to public health and safety and investigate animal crimes.

In addition to staff, volunteers spent more than 7,000 hours of their time working with animals at the shelter.

More information on adopting animals, volunteering, and supporting Animal Care & Control is available on the City website.