Airport employs a pack of therapy dogs to help soothe nervous flyers and passengers with disabilities
- The dogs, called the Canine Crew, will be stationed at Southampton Airport
- They will patrol the arrival and departures halls with their volunteer handlers
- The dogs are ‘fully temperament tested and highly experienced in their trade’
An airport has employed a pack of therapy dogs to help ease the nerves of anxious flyers.
The dogs, called the Canine Crew, will be stationed in Southampton Airport’s arrival and departures halls along with their volunteer handlers.
It’s hoped that the creatures will also soothe any passengers with disabilities after studies showed that petting an animal can reduce stress.
Southampton Airport has employed a pack of therapy dogs, pictured, to help ease the nerves of anxious flyers
The dogs are from the charity Therapy Dogs Nationwide, which says they are ‘fully temperament tested and highly experienced in their trade’.
The animals worked at the airport during a trial period last year but it has now been confirmed that they will be a semi-permanent feature at the hub and will be on patrol once a week.
Simon Young, head of passenger operations, said: ‘Having therapy dogs in our airport will not only benefit our passengers but also our staff.
A passenger in the arrivals hall at Southampton Airport pets golden retriever Casper, one of the Canine Crew. He is pictured alongside handler Alan Smart
Ben, left, and Billie, right, who are English mastiffs, with their handlers Rob Moore and Nicola Williams
‘Four-legged companions are well known for boosting general happiness and wellbeing as well as mood and we are very excited to welcome them to the Southampton Airport family.’
Paulette Hockley, placement officer at Therapy Dogs Nationwide, added: ‘We are very privileged to have passionate volunteers who keep our charity running by taking their own dogs into establishments to give comfort, distraction and stimulation.
‘We are looking forward to working with Southampton Airport and sharing the benefits of Animal Assisted Therapy with both passengers and team members.’
Handler Wendy Bruty with Elvis, the bluetick coonhound, at Southampton Airport
In 2018, Southampton’s sister airport, Aberdeen International, became the first in the UK to employ a therapy dog.
Alaskan malamute Harley was brought in to walk around the terminal alongside owner Niel Chisholm in a bid to calm those who have a fear of flying.
Now the airport has a group of 14 dogs, which take it in turns to roam the terminal, helping passengers to relax.