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  • Hannah Skidmore, MBA

How to Create a Better Environment for Staff

From a Stressful Environment to an Enjoyable Environment


Animal shelters and boarding kennels can be very stressful environments, not just for the animals in them, but also for staff who work in them every day. There is often high staff turnover in this industry, and the environment can play a large role in that. Loud and odorous shelters and kennels can be very unpleasant for staff, but there are various ways to address these issues and create a less stressful and more enjoyable work environment for staff.


Overcome Noise Issues


Noise is a very big issue for animal shelters and dog kennels. Barking can approach and even exceed 100 db (louder than a jackhammer in some cases), which is extremely high. It can even surpass OSHA noise levels that require ear protection. A large room full of barking dogs can be extremely overwhelming for staff to enter.


Tips to Address Noise Issues


To help address noise issues, the DLI animal care experts recommend the following:

  1. House fewer dogs in smaller rooms (4-10 dogs max per room)

  2. Allow small groups of dogs in play areas

  3. Reduce visual stimulation (do not allow dogs to see each other and do not have cages facing each other)

  4. Group dogs with similar temperaments

  5. Staff should not have to walk through one animal space to get to another (this increases stimulation for the animals)

  6. Use multiple lighting levels for cleaning, feeding, and resting

  7. Employee noise control construction in the building (acoustic wall panels, solid core doors, exterior grade double paned glass, and acoustic wall and ceiling insulation among other things)


Reduce Odor Concerns


The odor in animal shelters and dog kennels can be overwhelming at times for employees. Urine and solid waste are seldom dealt with properly which leads to increased odor throughout the building. The cleaning of these facilities is also often not done properly.


Tips to Address Odor Issues


To help address odor issues, the DLI animal care experts recommend the following:

  1. Use smaller independent HVAC zones with no communicating ductwork between zones

  2. Use flush fixtures to remove solid waste from the facility

  3. Use an accelerated hydrogen peroxide for cleaning (e.g. Rescue)

  4. Include drains in your facility with automatic rinsing systems for liquid waste

  5. Only use finishes and flooring that are completely waterproof and are scrubbable (non-porous)


Animal-first Solutions that Benefit Employees


There are many techniques that the DLI animal care experts use to create environments that bring about less stress from animals and staff. These techniques use a mix of interior planning, mechanical engineering, plumbing engineering, electrical engineering, and noise control engineering. All of these systems work together to bring about less noise and odor, which can, in turn, affect staff turnover.


Create a Better Environment for Employees and Animals


Call us at 860-889-7078 or schedule a consultation online to discuss the ways in which we can help you create a better environment for staff with your current or new facility.







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