Introducing The Canine Crew – the UK’s first airport therapy dog team, brought to you by Therapet and Aberdeen International Airport
The UK’s first ever team of airport therapy dogs will be visiting the terminal on a regular basis from Saturday 4 May.
The Canine Crew, easily identifiable in their high vis jackets and bandanas, will mingle with passengers and staff to work their animal magic both landside and airside throughout the terminal.
Already regular visitors to nursing homes, schools, prisons and universities, where the dogs have been proven to help improve mental health and wellbeing, alleviate stress and calm nerves, this is the first venture of this scale in the UK to bring the dogs to an airport environment.
Therapet in the Aberdeenshire area is managed by Canine Concern Scotland Trust and will deploy a team of dogs, of various sizes, with their handlers on a rota basis.
Trustee of the charity and area representative for Aberdeenshire North Therapet, Diane Wood, explained: “We are delighted to take the lead in this project and have the opportunity to work with Aberdeen International Airport.
“All our dogs – and their owners – have undergone rigorous training and assessment to work in a variety of environments and the dogs are used to being stroked and petted and generally made a fuss of so they will lap up the attention and thoroughly enjoy the opportunity to interact with passengers and staff.
“The mere action of stroking a dog slows down the heartbeat and reduces blood pressure so they will be a great help to anyone feeling nervous about their journey. The dogs will work in pairs, for two hours at a time once a week and we plan to keep everybody updated about what dogs are visiting and when.”
The Canine Crew visiting the airport will initially comprise:
• Breagh the Golden Retriever with owner Diane Wood
• Bruno the German Shepherd with owner Fiona Watts
• Grace the Scottish Deerhound with owners Bill and Carole Ledingham
• Enzo the Red Labrador with owner Clair Petrie
• Noodle the Beagle with owner Amy McKenzie
• Tweedie Bear the German Shepherd Dog with owner Julie Duguid
• Zosha/Vinnie the Leonberger with owner Kelly Wiseman
• Cullen the Beagle with owner Emma Ritchie
• Bronte the Golden retriever with owner Jacqui Finnie
• Pax the Utonagan with owner Paul Higgins
• Shuna the Lurcher with owner Morag Forrest
• Bentley the Golden Retriever with owner Colin Finnie
• Luna the Collie with owner Karen Douglas
• Doug the Pug with owners Kate and Sean Broadley
Aberdeen International Airport Duty Manager Fraser Bain said: “We’re excited to be the first airport in the UK to offer this service to passengers. As well as benefitting our visitors, we also recognise the benefit to the mental health and wellbeing of our staff.
“The Canine Crew is made up of a variety of dogs, with a mixture of brilliant traits and personalities and we cannot wait to see the reaction of our passengers.”
For more information and Canine Crew schedules, visit www.aberdeenairport.com/therapet