Punta Gorda Airport launches therapy dog program

Posted at 2:35 PM, Feb 13, 2017
and last updated 2017-02-13 19:59:20-05

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. -- The Punta Gorda Airport kicked off of a new Therapy Dog Program on Monday.

Therapy K9’s of Southwest Florida will have 8 Registered Therapy Dogs to work in both the departure and baggage claim areas.

A therapy dog is a dog trained to provide affection and comfort to people in a variety of locations and situations from hospitals, nursing homes, schools, hospices, disaster areas, people with autism, children advocacy centers, and in airports.

Flight delays, cancellations, long security lines and checked-bag scenarios are the most common aggravations among airline travelers. Additionally, air travelers have stress regarding the purpose of their travel whether for business, vacation, family gathering, etc.

Currently, over 20 airports across the United States have therapy dog programs.

One of the Therapy K9's, Fansee, will help with airport passengers. Fansee is a calm, patient, English Cream Golden Retriever who occasionally wears costumes to help when she is working with small children. The costumes help younger children open up and feel more at ease when they are placed in stressful situations such as testifying in court or being interviewed by law enforcement officers. 

Some of the other Therapy Dogs include breeds such as German Shepherd, Pug, Pitbull and Chocolate Lab/Greyhound mix.