LOS ANGELES — Can music really soothe the savage beast?

A veterinarian in North Canton, Ohio, thinks so. Dr. Pamela Fisher has put music in more than 1,100 animal shelters, saying that it calms dogs and cats, and even cuts down on barking.

Fisher started the nonprofit Rescue Animal MP3 Project nearly four years ago by asking artists around the world to donate pet-friendly music. The result was MP3 players packed with 30 hours of classics, including music by Beethoven, Mozart and Chopin, and harps, pianos and violins mimicking ocean waves and gentle breezes. She gives them free to animal shelters, sanctuaries and spay-and-neuter clinics.

“I have used therapeutic music in my practice and wanted to figure out a way to help the shelter animals in my own community,” said Fisher, a holistic veterinarian whose “community” has grown to include shelters in all 50 states.

No one has studied the impact of Fisher’s specific music recipe. But others have looked at how music and noise in general affect animals. A 2012 Colorado State University study published in the Journal of Veterinary Behavior found that dogs were more likely to sleep and less likely to bark when Mozart, Beethoven and other classical artists were playing, but not when heavy metal, altered classical and other sounds were.

A survey of more than 500 shelters conducted by Fisher also validated her approach, finding barking reduced by half and animals on average more relaxed.