Airports Offering ‘Therapy Dogs’ for Stressed Travelers
If you've ever been anxious or stressed out at an airport, some are now offering the services of Therapy Dogs to help bring some relief. Airports can be some of the most stress filled places on the planet, especially for someone who has never flown before, missed their flight, or is flying alone.
In order to relieve some of the tension, airports like Louisville's Muhammad Ali airport, are allowing volunteer organizations like WAGS (Wonderful Animals Giving Support) to bring in special therapy dogs two to three time a week to help stressed out passengers relax.
I remember the first time I'd been to an airport with my mother. We were flying from Chicago's Midway airport to visit family in Detroit. Everything was so loud, busy, and kinda scary for 10 year old, and this was BEFORE cell phones. I was lucky enough to have my mom with me to help keep me calm, but most people aren't so lucky. Can you imagine how scary is would be for a kid to be traveling by themselves, or for an adult with anxiety issues?
So far, 10 airports around the country have authorized the use of therapy dogs in their terminals. The dogs usually have some kind of special collar or scarf on to indicated that they are indeed an official therapy animal and can be seen roaming around freely with their specially trained handler not too far behind.
Here's a list of the airports that have allowed therapy animals as of today:
- San Jose International Airport
San Jose was the first US airport to introduce therapy dogs, shortly after 9/11.
- San Francisco International Airport
You can meet LiLou, the first airport therapy pig.
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
The DFW K9 Crew features 12 therapy dogs that help alleviate stress while at this busy airport.
- Miami International Airport
Their program is known as the Miami Hound Machine
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Their Navigator Buddies program is a volunteer-based program that helps travelers engage with locals and their pets.
- Denver International Airport
They have the Canine Airport Therapy Squad, ironically known as CATS with over 100 dogs and one cat named Xeli
- San Antonio International Airport
They offer the Pups and Planes program.
- Minneapolis–Saint Paul International Airport
The MSP Animal Ambassadors program hopes to make travel more enjoyable for all.
- Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
This airport has partnered with Seven Oaks Farm and their miniature therapy horses in the Lift program.
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport
At CLT, the Canine Crew is to the rescue.
If EVV adopted a therapy animal program, what would you name it and what animal would you use?