Charleston International Airport hopes to lower passenger anxiety with help from pets

Local News

Paws for Takeoff logo provided by Charleston International Airport

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCBD) – The Charleston International Airport is working to lower passenger anxiety with help from some furry friends.

The ‘Paws for Takeoff’ dog therapy program was designed to elevate passenger experience while also “providing a way to soothe anxious travelers,” according to airport spokesman Spencer Pryor.

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.”

According to Pryor, the program has been in the works for a few months. The airport event held a branding competition on its social media pages back in May.

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.

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