Alan and Casper ready to help calm nervous passengers at Southampton Airport
Southampton International Airport is employing four-legged helpers from January 14.
The Canine Crew – therapy dogs from the charity Therapy Dogs Nationwide – will be stationed in arrivals as well as departures along with their volunteer handlers.
Having trialled the initiative last year on a temporary basis, the furry-faced employees will be on patrol once a week, on a mission to help soothe nervous fliers and passengers with hidden disabilities.
Neil Garwood, managing director at Southampton Airport, said: “Having therapy dogs in our airport will not only benefit our passengers but also our staff.
“Four-legged companions are well known for boosting general happiness, 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”
The Launch of Southampton Airport’s Canine Crew coincides with a charity collection for Blue Cross, which has a rehoming centre in West End, Southampton. The airport is also featuring a ‘Southampton Blue Cross Rescue Dog of the Week’ on its social media channels to encourage re-homing.
Southampton Airport provides an international transport hub for Hampshire and contributes more than £160m a year to the local economy, employing 1,000 people.