San Francisco Airport Uses “Wag Brigade” Therapy Animals To Support Stressed Travelers


Feeling down? Stressed out about flying? Is Life giving you lots of lemons and you can’t make lemonade fast enough? Well, if you’re passing through San Francisco International Airport, you might just run into the Wag Brigade: a group of 22 fluffy and adorable dogs (+ 1 precious airport therapy pig named LiLou) who are at your service and ready to melt all your worries away.

The airport partnered up with the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to introduce passengers to dogs that are certified by the Animal Assisted Therapy Program. The animals roam around and help improve everyone’s mood.

Many members of the Wag Brigade have their very own Instagram accounts, so be sure to check out the full list on the SFO website. And be sure to let us know in the comments if you’ve ever encountered something similar at an airport, dear Pandas!

More info: Fly.SFO.com | Instagram | SFSPCA.com

Meet the Wag Brigade! It’s made up of 22 dogs and 1 pig who help passengers relax at San Francisco International Airport

Image credits: sfowagbrigade

This is LiLou the therapy pig. She knows a whole bunch of tricks

Image credits: sfowagbrigade

The animals are all certified therapy pets

Image credits: sfowagbrigade

The Wag Brigade program started in December 2013 and ever since then, the doggos have been meeting and greeting everyone who’s feeling a bit down or in need of a pick-me-up.

And LiLou the pig joined the team not too long ago. She’s hypoallergenic (instantly a 10/10 for me), she knows how to do lots of tricks: she can greet you with a wave, stand on her back hooves, and perform with her toy piano! (Obviously, not all at once, though that would be impressive.)

Every doggo has its own unique way of cheering up stressed-out passengers

Image credits: sfowagbrigade

Image credits: sfowagbrigade

Image credits: sfowagbrigade

Image credits: sfowagbrigade

“The reaction from our passengers is really positive,” Jennifer Kazarian, the manager of the program, told the media. “When a Wag Brigade animal walks into the terminal, we see people look up from their devices, and they start to interact with each other and they start to interact with the dog, and it puts a smile on everyone’s face.”

According to Kazarian, the pilot program initially had only 6 doggos. But “the engagement was just amazing. So from then on, we were like okay—send more dogs!”

LiLou is one of the most popular members of the Wag Brigade

Image credits: sfowagbrigade

Image credits: sfowagbrigade

Image credits: sfowagbrigade

Image credits: sfowagbrigade

Passengers tend to stress out when their flights are delayed or canceled. That’s the perfect time for the Wag Brigade to rush to the rescue!

Each animal has its own unique way of cheering people up. For instance, Brixton likes rolling on his back and letting others rub his belly. While Jagger likes weaving in and out and in again through people’s legs.

“We often hear people say things like: ‘I miss my dog more than my wife’ or ‘I just got back from a two-week vacation and this is the best part of my trip,’” Kazarian joked about how much passengers enjoy the emotional support animals.

The internet gushed and aww’d when it learned about the Wag Brigade




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