Inspiration

Cuddly dogs help de-stress LAX Fliers

April 17, 2013 at 3:29 PM ET

PUP program at LAX
Courtesy Los Angeles International Airport

The next time you're waiting to board your flight at Los Angeles International Airport, don't be surprised to see furry friends roaming the terminal with bright red vests reading, "Pet Me!"

LAX Airport on Monday introduced its Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUP) program, whereby volunteers and their dogs walk through the departure level of each terminal to bring smiles and airport information to weary travelers.

The program, a partnership with Therapy Dogs, was introduced in anticipation of National Volunteer Week from April 21-27.

Each volunteer and trained dog roams through the gate areas on the departure level of each terminal, carrying with them trading cards with the dog's vital statistics and airport information. The volunteers went through classroom and in-terminal training to learn about LAX and how to assist passengers.

"This is such an exciting day for all of us in customer service at LAX," said Heidi Huebner, director of airport volunteers, who oversees the program. "We love our volunteers and are thrilled to now have dogs as part of our team, bringing joy to everyone at the airport."

Huebner was on-site for the program launch on Monday, noting how well received it was by children and adults. One passenger told her it was a welcome relief after a stressful drive into the airport.

The PUP program will be ongoing at LAX, and is similar to existing pet programs at Miami and San Jose airports.

For more information on LAX and the volunteer program, click here.

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