Toronto made the news recently with the announcement that they will be introducing therapy dogs to their Pearson airport. What few people realise is that Montreal's Trudeau Airport already has this service: It announced in November last year that it would be introducing a "pet squad" of 30 therapy dogs to soothe passengers before a flight.
Therapy dogs are a proven way to reduce stress, and are already used in a variety of settings. Universities use them to help students relax during exams, and retirement homes use them to improve the sense of well-being of their residents. It makes sense, then, to introduce them in an environment as stressful as an airport.
TL;DR Trudeau Airport has 30 therapy dogs that you can go pet before your nexr flight, and they're looking to expand.
The name "pet squad" is a nod to their canine unit of drug-and-weapon-sniffing dogs, the "canine squad." This pun is even cuter in French: escouade caline instead of escouade canine.
Airport management saw that people responded positively to the working dogs, dogs that no one is allowed to pet, and decided to implement a pilot project of therapy dogs.
The 30 dogs are currently roaming around the domestic and international flight areas of the airport with their volunteer handlers. They allow passengers to come to them, but will never go up to passengers, to avoid scaring those with a fear of dogs or allergies.
“We are very proud of this initiative, which has already proven to be effective at other airports around the world. Dogs are often seen as a human’s best friend and in an unfamiliar environment like ours their presence is truly comforting for passengers,” said Philippe Rainville, President and Chief Executive Officer of Aéroports de Montréal.
The dogs have thus far been very popular with passengers. Trudeau Airport hopes to DOUBLE the amount of dogs in the coming year. The more dogs the merrier, right?