John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, has launched an AirPAWS therapy dog program.
The program was initiated by the Orange County Board of Supervisors and the airport with the help of OC Animal Allies, formerly known as the OCSPCA.
“After several decades of providing therapy dog services throughout Orange County, we are delighted to have the opportunity to extend this expertise to John Wayne Airport and the millions of travelers that pass through the airport annually,” said OC Animal Allies director Kevin Marlin. “AirPAWS will make the often stressful process of traveling much more enjoyable and will create yet another opportunity for OC Animal Allies to uphold its mission of giving back to the community and strengthening the human-animal bond.”
Research shows that therapy dogs can provide physical and mental health benefits. For example, interacting with a therapy dog can reduce anxiety, provide comfort, diminish pain, aid in relaxation and lower blood pressure. Approximately 60 airports in the USA have a similar program.