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Vancouver International Airport launches therapy dog program (PHOTOS)

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Kenneth Chan Aug 22, 2017 7:13 am 9,126

Therapy dogs are already available at some post-secondary institutions during the stressful final exam period and hospitals to brighten the lives of patients, so why not airports as well?

Earlier today, Vancouver International Airport announced the launch of its Less Airport Stress Intiative (LASI), which introduces ambassador dogs to the airport terminal to provide all passengers and employees with a new way to deal with anxiety from travel, work, and general stress.

While service dogs are known for assisting an individual with a disability, ambassador dogs are meant to be interacted with.

The initiative is a partnership with St. John Ambulance’s Therapy Dog program. A total of seven dogs – Molly, Bailey, Mira, Norman, Grover, Kermode, and Soda – wearing YVR branded leashes and St. John Ambulance bandanas will be available on site at the terminal for stress relief from during all weekdays from 11 am to 1 pm. These dogs will be accompanied by a dog handler and a YVR Green Coat volunteer.

Therapy dogs at Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority)

“We recognize that an airport can be a stressful environment. By introducing the YVR Ambassador Dogs through our LASI initiative, we hope that our four-legged friends will help to ease any anxiety associated with travel,” said Reg Krake, Director of Customer Care at Vancouver Airport Authority, in a statement.

“We want all our guests to have a positive experience at YVR and we know the LASI initiative will enhance the airport experience for passengers, visitors and employees.”

YVR began LASI as a pilot project in December and has received “strong feedback on the positive interactions” from the ambassador dogs.

Last year, the airport launched two other innovative amenities for passengers – a pet washroom within the US terminal and a designated free yoga space for passengers to stretch their limbs.

Therapy dogs at Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority)

Therapy dogs at Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority)

Therapy dogs at Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority)

Therapy dogs at Vancouver International Airport. (Vancouver Airport Authority)

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com

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