SAN FRANCISCO, Calif. (ABC-7 News) — Traveling can be a stressful experience for many. There are flight delays, cancellations and long lines at security checkpoints.
The San Francisco International Airport has a group of volunteer therapy animals, known as the Wag Brigade, who help relieve the stress and anxieties and make travelling a more enjoyable experience.
SFO launched the program in 2013 and teamed with the San Francisco SPCA to train and certify animals for the airport environment.
“At the present time we have 22 dogs and a pig on the Wag Brigade,” said Jennifer Kazarian, Wag Brigade Program manager. “When we launched the program our main goal was to de-stress our passengers, however what we found was a way to connect with our passengers.”
SFO is the first airport to have a therapy pig. Lilou is a 5-year-old Juliana-breed pig, who likes to play her toy piano and perform for all passengers.
The idea for the Wag Brigade was inspired after 9/11 when a Mineta San Jose International Airport employee brought his therapy dog into work. That day he was able to see how is dog was able to relieve the tension and stress from everyone around him.