Therapy Pig Welcomes Travelers At Airport
San Francisco International Airport has added a new member to its Wag Brigade, a coalition of therapy dogs utilized to greet and comfort stressed travelers from the woes of long wait times and layovers. However, the newest member isn’t a dog. Rather, it’s the program’s first ever pig, named LiLou.
SFO’s Wag Brigade consists of SPCA animals certified by the Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) Program. “At a minimum, AAT pets must be solicitous and fully comfortable with handling. In other words, pets must be interested in and eager to approach people and accept handling, regardless of the person’s age, gender, race, size, mobility equipment usage, and apparel,” according to the SFSPCA regulations.
All of these animals have usually been dogs, with the new exception being LiLou the pig, who has been certified. “I can see that she is happy showing off her tricks and getting her praise,”said LiLou’s owner, Tatyana Danilova. “It also brings positive emotions to me seeing that we can do something good for the community and bring more smiles in some unconventional way. I absolutely love my LiLou and I know she loves me.”
LiLou will be dispatched to the airport once a month to perform tricks like playing music on her toy piano. While LiLou is an interesting choice of animal for passenger therapy, other airports have also used therapy mini horses and turkeys.
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