Meet the Wag brigade – adorable dogs who want to befriend airport passengers

The Wag brigade turns heads when it arrives at airport terminals, with passengers keen to meet them and people regularly getting their phones to snap a picture.

That’s because the team is made up of some seriously adorable dogs – and they want to be friends with everyone!

The team certified therapy animals – mostly dogs – wander around the terminals to make passengers’ travel experience a lot more enjoyable.

The idea is that petting the dogs can offer some comfort for nervous flyers, not to mention that interacting with the dogs can act as a mood-lifting encounter!

The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) brings dogs certified through their Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) Program to roam the terminals.



The dogs can be identified through their special vests

All of the therapy animals who take part in the training program must prove to have a stable temperament, good manners and a friendly personality. Oh, and of course they must all be house-trained.

To stand out from the crowd, the Wag Brigade don vests that read ‘Pet Me!’ so passengers can identify them – and of course oblige the request.



The dogs love to be cuddled and petted – and passengers are more than happy to oblige

The line-up of dogs includes Ace, the golden retriever who “loves attention of any sort, especially pets and belly rubs”, Maltese/Yorkie mix George Morkie who loves meeting people and travelling to new places, golden retriever Bodhi who is ball-obsessed, and Sussex spaniel Jackie who loves to cuddle up to people.

However, the team isn’t made up of just dogs. In fact, in recent years, Lilou the pig joined the team to help stressed out passengers, raising her hooves in greeting, posing for selfies and even playing a tune on her toy piano.



They have lots of fun – including dressing up for Halloween

The WAG Brigade has been running since 2013, with dozens of animals on hand to come to the airport and greet passengers.

A similar concept was tested in the UK last year, as part of a venture between Therapet and Aberdeen airport, after dogs have proven to help improve mental health and wellbeing, alleviate stress and calm nerves.

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The trial saw 14 dogs hanging out with passengers to help soothe nervous flyers, whether by having a cuddle or simply just wagging their tails in greeting.

Dubbed the Canine Crew, it was the first time they headed to an airport, although they had previously been visitors to nursing homes, schools, prisons and universities.

You can find out more about the Wag Brigade on the San Francisco airport website.

source.



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