Airport therapy dogs offer stress-relief, solace

Airport therapy dogs offer stress-relief, solace

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Posted January 1, 1970

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by Erin Powell

For many who experience anxiety at airports and a fear of flying, a new wave of calm has been introduced to help ease the burden of traveling: airport therapy dogs.

First introduced at Mineta San Jose International Airport following the September 11 attacks in 2001 when flights were grounded, therapy dogs came into airports and allowed weary travelers to play with and pet the friendly canines. Distressed passengers were able to relax and quiet their minds from long lines, crowds and safety concerns.

Director of volunteers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Heidi Huebner started Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUPs) in April. “You can literally feel the stress levels drop, people start smiling, strangers start talking to each other and everybody walks away feeling really, really good,” said Huebner.

In addition to LAX, PUPs has programs at San Jose and Miami International Airport with hopes to expand in the future.

Read the full article on Skift. 


Erin Powell is a World Footprints contributor and Master’s Candidate at American University where she studies international media and works as a graduate research assistant. She has previously worked for the Department of State, Prince William Business Magazine and George Mason University’s Office of Student Media. Erin regularly volunteers with the Washington Humane Society and loves yoga, hiking and the ukulele. Follow Erin @erinrenee_.

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