We don’t mean to alarm you, but this story may contain extremely cute pictures of some very good dogs.
Los Angelas Wolrd Airports just celebrated the fifth anniversary of their Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUPs) Program at Los Angelas International Airport!
We wish our office dog would unstress us, but all he does is try to steal our food and distract us during meetings, which is kind of the opposite.
During the celebration, nearly 40 therapy dogs from the program, and their handlers walked the grass carpet, took photos and were interviewed about their participation in PUPs.
Which, we hope looked a little something like this:
In 2013, the PUPs program began with 20 therapy dogs. There are now close to 90 dogs in the program.
That’s a lot of puppers!
The therapy dogs and volunteers roam the departures levels in the gate areas of each terminal and visit guests who are waiting on flights.
The teams also provide information to guests and answer questions they may have.
On average, each team of PUPs volunteers can interact with between 3500 and 7000 guests at LAX each year.
“For the last five years, the therapy dogs and their handlers have brought a tremendous amount of joy and relief to travellers during what is a stressful time for many,” said Keith Wilschetz, Deputy Executive Director of Operations and Emergency Management.
PUPs Program Director Heidi Huebner has led the program since its inception and has seen how many lives the volunteers and their pets have affected in a positive manner.
“We don’t ever know why someone is travelling,” said Huebner. “It could be for a happy reason or for sad reasons, but to be there to comfort them with the therapy dogs is life-changing.”