Music plays a huge role in life. You can hear a song that makes you remember a loved one, or you can use music to boost your mood – whatever the reason, music is the great equalizer!

Music is used every day at Free to Live. From the tunes floating out of kitchen spaces to the songs we sing to soothe scared dogs and cats, we use music to heal and uplift not only the animals, but also the humans at Free to Live.

“When an animal passes, we always try to think of a song that reminds us of them and it becomes their song,” said Reagan Hamlin, executive director of Free to Live. “It helps us channel our grief into something tangible and lasting. When we hear their song, it gives us a special moment to remember their life and impact.”

Longtime board member and volunteer Karrin Ferguson’s favorite go-to song for dogs is always the country classic Austin by Blake Shelton. As you walk across property and pass a pen with a shy dog, you will often hear her singing to them quietly. 

We have sat for hours at a time singing to dogs and cats at Free to Live. When staff favorite and office dog Boots was sick and nearing the end of his life, staff would lie by his side at night and sing Tennessee Whiskey by Chris Stapleton. 

Cattery Manager Kaycee Chance’s go-to cat song is Rhiannon. “I love to sing the lyrics – she is like a cat in the dark and then they all sing she is the darkness,” laughs Chance. “We even have ‘vibe playlists’ for car rides and end-of-life adventure rides. We never miss an opportunity to share music.”

Hamlin says you can always tell which technician is working in the space that day by the music left on for the animals at night. Kitchen cats love Guns and Roses, while office dogs in New Kennel fall asleep listening to Dear Delilah.

“Music has brought us together and helped us heal in times that felt impossible,” shared Hamlin. “You see a lot of things in animal rescue that can break your spirit, but music never fails to bring us back to center so we can continue waking up every day to make this world a better place for animals.”