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Therapy dogs to help relieve passengers' stress at YVR airport

Last Updated Aug 22, 2017 at 4:29 pm PDT

An "airport ambassador dog" at YVR airport, as part of the Less Airport Stress Initiative (LASI) (Lasia Kretzel, NEWS 1130, Photo)
Summary

Seven therapy dogs make up YVR's Less Airport Stress Initiative (LASI)

RICHMOND (NEWS 1130) – The next time you fly out of YVR, you may be greeted by a fluffy four-legged friend whose sole job is to help you relax.

The airport has launched its Less Airport Stress Initiative (LASI), aimed at helping travellers manage their stress.

Seven “Ambassador Dogs” from St. John Ambulance’s Therapy Dog Program will take turns touring the halls before and after security between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Monday to Friday, giving weary and woeful passengers a chance to cuddle and relax.

“We know that passengers can be stressed when they’re travelling,” Reg Krake, director of customer care for YVR says.

“It’s a great alternative option… having dogs in the terminal. They’re PADS trained, so they can actually reduce (passenger’s) stress, relax, and actually have a smile or a laugh before they head on their journey. After all, travel is fun. You want to enjoy the journey. So adding the ambassador dogs really makes a difference for people just to enjoy, relax, and have fun.”

Molly, Bailey, Mira, Norman, Grover, Kermode, and Soda will all wear St. John Ambulance bandanas and YVR-branded leashes so passengers can identify them. Their handlers will be wearing green YVR coats.

 

Unlike a service dog, passengers are encouraged to pet these pups because they are specifically trained to be interacted with.

“There’s going to be at least two dogs – sometimes more than that – roaming the terminals, both pre and post-security,” Krake said.

There’s no word on whether their hours will be expanded in the future, but, at least for now, the pups are here to stay.