Gold Coast Airport in Australia has welcomed three more therapy dogs to its AmbassaPAW program.
Chappie (a Groodle), Bonnie (a Beagle/French Bulldog cross) and Lucy (a Lowchen) were selected through the airport’s new partnership with local dog trainer Found by the Hound, and join Quincy the black Labrador, who became part of the airport team earlier in 2023.
The initiative, which was launched in 2018, is designed to ease the stress and anxiety that can sometimes be associated with traveling, and make the overall airport experience for customers more enjoyable.
Through Gold Coast Airport’s partnership with Found by the Hound, each therapy dog undergoes specific training and testing to ensure they’re suited to a busy airport environment. An additional three dogs are still being recruited, which will enable the airport to have one therapy dog on patrol every day. The therapy dogs work alongside the airport’s Ambassador program which is now made up of 56 volunteers.
Marion Charlton, chief operating officer of airport operator Queensland Airports Limited, said, “This is a really exciting milestone for us in the history of this program, as it is the most therapy dogs we’ve ever had at one time.
“Since we launched the AmbassaPAW initiative, the feedback from our customers has been extremely positive; our therapy dogs have shown to make a real difference to passengers’ experience in the terminal and have become an important extension of our team. During peak periods, like school holidays at the moment when the airport is quite busy, our AmbassaPAWS are really helpful in putting smiles on customers’ faces and helping people feel more relaxed.
“In July we lost a very important member of our team, Gary, who was our very first therapy dog and this program really is his legacy – so today we also unveiled a brand-new space for our AmbassaPAWs that pays tribute to Gary’s contribution of more than five years with us.
“Our AmbassaPAWs also form an important element of our Hidden Disability initiative – comforting customers on their journey through our airport from check-in to boarding.”
To find out more about Gold Coast Airport’s latest developments, click here.