French poodle part of airport’s new pet therapy program

Dog, handler roam terminal to give stress releive at Dane County Regional

Airport officials will bring in pets to help make the traveling process a little less stressful, according to a news release.

The Dane County Regional Airport said Tuesday it has launched a pet therapy program to give comfort to passengers through interactions with animals like Pierre, a French poodle.

In a news release, Dane County Executive Joe Parisi said similar pet therapy programs are in place around the United States.

Pierre and his handler and fellow volunteer, Dana Schreiber, walk through the terminal at departures and gate areas visiting passengers who are awaiting flights.

Schreiber and Pierre have been trained to look for travelers who might benefit from a visit.

“When a passenger says, ‘Thank you for making my day and helping take some of my stress away,’ that’s all Pierre and I need,” Schreiber said.

An airport official said DCRA plans to expand the program with more trained pets and handlers.

The airport said each pet program volunteer goes through classroom and in-terminal training to learn about the airport and how to assist passengers. Volunteers also complete a walk-through with their dogs to make sure it is a good fit for both. The dogs must be privately owned and be at least 2 years old. All volunteers and dogs are registered and insured for animal-assisted activities.