13 April 2016

Canine Therapy Program Takes Off at Calgary Airport

The Calgary Airport Authority launched a new program featuring canine companions to enhance the passenger experience at Calgary International Airport (YYC).

The Pre-Board Pals program will see therapy dogs in its pre-boarding areas three days a week as a way to reduce stress among travellers.

“Pre-Board Pals demonstrates our commitment and passion for providing an amazing airport experience at YYC,” said Garth Atkinson, President & CEO for The Calgary Airport Authority. “With millions of guests travelling through our airport each year, we know that our new pals will be another positive touchpoint for our passengers.”

Dogs, provided by Pet Access League Society (PALS), are family pets that have been carefully screened by professionals as to suitability for the PALS program.

Diana Segboer, Executive Director for PALS says, “We have an incredible team of dogs, and handlers, that the passengers at Calgary International Airport are absolutely going to love. Our teams look forward to sharing the power of puppy love at YYC.”

Medical studies have proven the benefits of animal therapy programs including a reduction in pain, depression, anxiety and fatigue.

The Calgary initiative is one of many canine programs offered by a variety of airports. Denver International Airport even features ID photos of the dogs in their Canine Airport Therapy Squad (CATS) on their website.

In Los Angeles, Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUP) program therapy dogs and handlers roam the departures levels in the gate areas of each terminal, visiting passengers awaiting flights and providing comfort, as well as airport information. The program educates and informs passengers about the LAX projects and construction related traffic impacts.

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