Although traveling usually fills us with excitement and expectations, getting to our destination can be a stressful experience. San Francisco International Airport embraces a heartwarming approach to alleviating travel stress and hires a 14-year-old therapy cat, Duke Ellington Morris, into its ‘Wag Brigade’.
Let’s get to know his story!
A Rocky Start to Duke’s Journey
Rescued from a feral cat colony in 2010, Duke’s early life was challenging. His transformation from a stray to a beloved therapy cat is a testament to the resilience and adaptability of animals. Initially, a 5-year-old and her mother rescued him and then made him a certified therapy animal.
In other words, Duke’s life made a complete turnaround, and he know provides comfort professionally.
San Francisco Airport Hires Cat: Duke’s Duties
Duke’s primary role at the airport is to offer emotional support to passengers. Wearing his distinctive ‘Pet Me’ vest, he roams the terminals, providing a furry, friendly presence. His interactions with passengers include cuddles and gentle purring, helping to alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with travel.
Other Animals Hired to Provide Comfort
Duke is part of the airport’s broader ‘Wag Brigade,’ which includes many different types of animals. First the team only consisted of dogs, but has now extended to dogs, rabbits, and even a therapy pig.
Each animal in this brigade is chosen for its unique ability to provide comfort and relaxation to passengers, showcasing the diversity of therapy animals.
Why Do Cats Make Good Therapy Animals
- Stress Reduction: Their presence lowers cortisol levels, reducing stress.
- Emotional Comfort: Cats offer a sense of calm and companionship.
- Soothing Presence: Their gentle purring can be relaxing and comforting.
- Decreased Anxiety: Interacting with cats can help alleviate anxiety symptoms.
- Blood Pressure Control: Petting cats can lower blood pressure.
- Mood Improvement: Cats can uplift spirits and improve overall mood.
The Need For Comfort and Cuddles at Airports
Airports, often bustling and stressful, can be overwhelming for travelers.
The presence of therapy animals, like Duke and others from the ‘Wag Brigade’, offers a calming and comforting influence. They help to reduce passenger stress, improve the travel experience, and create a more welcoming, homely atmosphere in a typically impersonal environment.
How Animals Are Chosen for the Program
Animals in the ‘Wag Brigade’ are selected based on their temperament, behavior, and ability to interact with diverse groups of people. They undergo rigorous training and certification, ensuring they are well-suited for the dynamic and sometimes unpredictable environment of an airport.
San Francisco Airport Hires Cat: Conclusion
In summary, Duke’s inclusion in San Francisco International Airport’s ‘Wag Brigade’ highlights the growing appreciation of therapy animals’ roles in public spaces. Animals like Duke not only provide comfort but also enhance the overall travel experience for passengers.
Thank you for reading this story about how San Francisco hires a cat to comfort its passengers! For more cat stories, take a look at these articles: