Pets

Now there’s a pig on duty at SFO Airport

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An increasing number of airports now have teams of therapy dogs on duty in the terminals to help ease the stress of travel.

Back in May, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport added a miniature therapy horse to the mix.

Now comes LiLou the pig – who joins the Wag Brigade at San Francisco International Airport on Monday.

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LiLou is the first pig to be certified in the SF SPCA’s Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) program and was a perfect fit for SFO, which was determined to expand the type of animals in the Wag Brigade.

LiLou is sure to be quite the hit. In addition to be being a pig at the airport – she does tricks.

According to the stat-card Wag Brigade handlers will be distributing for LiLou in the airport, she can wave, greet you with her snout, play the piano and give a bow after her performance. She will also be twirling and standing up on her back hooves to entertain travelers.

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SFO’s Wag Brigade team has at least one dog on duty every day of the week, with up to 3 dogs at a time working their 2-hour shifts.  LiLou doesn’t have a regulars slot in the schedule just yet, but airport officials say the Juliana Pig will be on site at least once a month.

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Dogs, miniature horse, a pig. Which animal do you think will show up next in an airport pet therapy program?

(All photos courtesy of SFO Airport)

Cyber Monday flight deals

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Don’t put away that credit card just yet. Virgin America (and other airlines) are still rolling out Cyber Monday airfare deals.

Virgin America’s Cyber Monday deal is good for you – and for dogs:

The carrier’s #TinyDogsTinyFares will offer up to 30 percent off fares nationwide. Use code: TINYFARES.

In addition to giving you the discount, Virgin America is also donating $10 per ticket booked on virginamerica.com during the sale to San Francisco Animal Care and Control (SF ACC), the ASPCA and Animal Haven.

On Cyber Monday, Virgin America is also making another “Operation Chihuahua” airlift and flying 24 Chihuahuas from San Francisco to New York so they can be adopted. Seems that there’s an overpopulation of Chihuahuas in California shelters and lots of people seeking to adopt small dogs on the east coast.

Travel Tidbits from MIA, LAS & LAX

If you’re going to be stuck at the airport, every amenity counts.

Here are a few new amenities that may come in handy, including a yoga room at Miami International Airport, a cool new floor mosaic at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas and indoor pet relief areas at Los Angeles International Airport

LAX PET RELIEF AREA INDOORS

This week Los Angeles International Airport celebrated the opening of seven post-security, indoor animal-relief stations, which join an existing one in the Tom Bradley International Terminal.

LAX officials say this brings the total number of service-animal/pet relief stations at LAX to 11 – more than any other U.S. airport.

Dogs from CATS on duty at Denver Airport

Photo courtesy Denver International Airport

Photo courtesy Denver International Airport

Denver International is the latest to join the pack of airports with a team of therapy dogs on duty to help relieve stress and anxiety for passengers.

Denver’s crew is called CATS – which stands for Canine Airport Therapy Squad – and each one of the dogs is registered with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs and is trained, certified and insured.

CATS dogs will be easy to spot: they’ll be wearing “Pet Me” vests.

Want a preview? Denver International Airport has a gallery of pooch pictures on line.