Montreal airport introduces 30 furry friends to take the stress out of flying
Published Thursday, November 15, 2018 7:56PM EST
Nervous flyers are getting a helping paw at Montreal’s airport after it brought in 30 therapy dogs to help passengers calm down.
In an attempt to take some of the stress out of air travel, Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport introduced the pets after seeing how people are attracted to working dogs like the bomb- and drug-sniffing canines, which people are not allowed to pet.
The friendly pooches are handled by volunteers who roam around the departures area, waiting for passengers to approach to make sure someone doesn’t have allergies or a fear of dogs.
“One lady said to us, ‘I was heading off to have a glass of wine. Now that I have the dog I don't need the wine,’” volunteer Joanne Tasse, from the Companion Animal Adoption Centres of Quebec, told CTV Montreal.
“I think it’s brilliant, they’re friendly,” one passenger said.
“I think if someone is stressed like the lady said it's a good idea to play with the dogs.”
All the hounds are trained to be comfortable in a busy airport setting and with wintry weather and a busy holiday season approaching; even airport staff are more relaxed thanks to their new furry friends.
“I wanted people to see that a German shepard can be really sweet. Everyone thinks they're really vicious, they stand back, but I see them smiling so I always say, ‘Come pat him, he's fine,’” Lesley Hutchins, another volunteer dog handler, said.
Trudeau Airport, which placed ninth for customer satisfaction in a recent poll of large North American airports, hopes to double the number of dog teams in the new year.
With a report from CTV Montreal’s Kelly Greig