New pet program to be implemented at the Charleston International Airport to help passengers with anxiety

Charleston County, South Carolina – The pandemic has surely made the traveling more complicated and more intense and this is especially obvious at the airports.

After year and a half into the pandemic, numerous airports around the world tried to lower the pressure of the passengers and make their traveling easier and more enjoyable with implementing different kinds of methods and programs.

According to a recent information, the Charleston International Airport now will try to do the same for the passengers. Airport officials said they are working to lower passenger anxiety with help from some furry friends.

Airport spokesman Spencer Pryor said they are about to implement the so-called ‘Paws for Takeoff’ dog program which he believes will help the passengers with “providing a way to soothe anxious travelers” and increase the passengers’ experience at the airport.

Teams of volunteers will visit Charleston International Airport on Thursdays or Sundays to walk leashed pets throughout the pre-security side of the airport to greet passengers and guests.

“Flying these days can be a bit stressful–but travelers will now have the opportunity to ‘paws’ and meet one of the new therapy dog team members at CHS,” said Elliott Summey, CEO of Charleston International Airport.

“The dogs create a gathering, an audience, which creates its own community as people talk to each other, sharing their own stories,” Elliott added.

According to the officials, the program has been developing for a few months now. Starting May, the airport also held a branding competition on its social media pages.

Handlers must carry a current Alliance of Therapy Dogs [ATD] membership card on them. Required medical records of the companion will also be accessible.

Airport officials say the handler and companion must abide by ATD guidelines throughout their visit.

Monica Doyle


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