The so-called Wag Brigade has been operating at San Francisco Airport for ten years and ensures a good mood. In addition to dogs, a rabbit and a pig, a tomcat is now also part of the team.
As a rule, different scenarios collide at airports. While some passengers run to the gate so as not to miss their flight, others try to bridge the waiting time on three seats with a little sleep. In between: very nervous-looking travelers who are trying to get a grip on their fear of flying (which pilots can also suffer from). Some of them hardly notice the world around them, they have to concentrate so much. Once in the air, they have to hope for understanding from flight attendants.
Animal surprise at the airport: cold noses and fluffy fur
But when a fluffy golden retriever, a grunting pig or cuddly bunnies suddenly appear, a smile quickly creeps onto the tense face. For now, anxiety and stress are forgotten. The animals all belong to the so-called Wag Brigade of San Francisco Airport (SFO). They are part of the therapy animal program and are intended to help make the travel experience more enjoyable. Especially the travelers who otherwise find it difficult. The newest member of the animal team is the cat Duke Ellington Morris.
If you can pet the animals, you sometimes forget the waiting time before boarding the plane.
In the meantime, 20 animals ensure a good mood at the airport
After the organization "San Francisco Animal Care and Control" collected the hungry stray from the streets, it quickly turned out that Duke the cat was particularly people-oriented, calm and relaxed. Best conditions for a therapy animal. Together with Duke, 19 other animals contribute to the good mood at the airport in San Francisco, including numerous dogs, a rabbit and a pig.
Domestic pig LiLou has been part of the Wag Brigade for several years and dispels fear of flying and stress in no time. Always in uniform, of course: a vest with "Pet me" written on it. © San Francisco International Airport/dpa
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All animal members of the Wedel Brigade are part of the San Francisco SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) – an organization that works to protect animals from abuse. They help animals in need, arrange for placements and also give owners tips on care and education. In cooperation with the airport, the company launched the program in December 2013.
This article was created with the help of machines and carefully reviewed by editor Anna Heyers before publication.