Located in Ponte Vedra, Fla., K9s For Warriors trains rescue and shelter dogs to become service dogs for veterans; they have two kennels on property to house the dogs. They can handle up to 30 dogs in each kennel.
A Stressful Situation
Anyone who has been in a kennel is unlikely to forget the tension and stress they felt from the incredible constant barking noise that easily exceeds 100 decibels. (OSHA requires hearing protection at 85 decibels). Now imagine how stressed out the dogs are considering their hearing is vastly more sensitive than ours and all thirty dogs are barking simultaneously. The staff was required to wear hearing protection whenever they were in the kennel area.
The noise problem they were confronting was the echoing/reverberation of the barking. The way kennels are built, made up of all tile and concrete, amplifies this noise immensely.
A single dog barking can reach 80 to 90 decibels (there are dogs that can reach over 100 decibels). When you have a group of dogs such as those in a kennel or daycare center, the typical noise level can reach an alarming 115 decibels. At this decibel level, a person should not stay in the area even 15 minutes without hearing protection.
To put it in perspective, normal human speech is around 60 decibels, an automobile 80 decibels and a jackhammer is 90 decibels. Damage to the hearing starts to occur when sound is louder than 85 decibels. In addition to hearing damage, high noise levels have been linked to lowered productivity, decreased communication skills, insomnia and other sleep disorders, anxiety, heart arrhythmia and more.
It’s in the Clouds
After careful analysis of the situation, the manufacturer Acoustiblok helped solve the noise problem with its Quiet-Cloud (patent pending) Industrial Sound Absorption Panels. Originally designed for absorbing high-frequency industrial noise in inhospitable environments, the all-aluminum panels were a perfect solution as they are washable, fireproof, hydrophobic, and do not retain odors.
The panels absorb sound globally (from every direction). Each lightweight panel was suspended from the ceiling, hanging from one edge as a banner. They spaced the panels end-to-end, 2 inches apart from each other to allow the perforated panel ends to absorb sound. The facility’s maintenance team was able to install the panels in the kennel in two days and found the process simple and easy.
“These acoustical panels can hang from a chain or cable either horizontally resembling a cloud or vertically from side edges resembling a banner or can also be easily put into a standard ceiling tile grid system. They are entirely welded aluminum, washable, hydrophobic; UL STD 723 tested, and zero smoke/flame. Custom NRC/STC version is available upon request, (Blok16 and solid backs yield STC29),” says Lahnie Johnson, president and founder of Acoustiblok.
K9s For Warriors chose the manufacturer because they wanted the best, most durable and cost-effective product to fix the problem. Acoustiblok, with more than 20 years in business, is a Florida-based manufacturer; this gave the non-profit organization added comfort if any replacement parts/pieces/maintenance might be needed over time.
According to the organization, they are extremely pleased with the results. “These panels provide relief for every person and canine in the kennels. The dogs are calm and no longer stressed out. This improvement also helps the staff focus more and eases their stress as well. It is hugely appreciated and we are very thankful for this upgrade to our kennels,” says Brett Simon, president of K9s For Warriors.
“Acoustiblok was happy to be of assistance to this worthy organization. We significantly reduced the cost of the panels for them and picked up the cost of shipping. We are delighted that the panels worked so well and they will soon be treating the other kennel with our panels, as well,” Johnson concludes.