animals at airports

Now there’s a pig on duty at SFO Airport


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.


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.


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.


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)

Goats, sheep, llama and burros at O’Hare Airport

Ohare llama

As part of its efforts to operate the greenest airport anywhere, this week the Chicago Department of Aviation (CDA) showed off a herd of 25 goats, sheep, llamas and burros that have been grazing on O’Hare Airport property the past few weeks as part of the airport’s Sustainable Vegetation Management initiative.

“Project HERD” is tasked with munching unwanted vegetation on up to 120 acres of airport property that is difficult to maintain with traditional landscaping equipment.

The herd will be on duty as long as weather permits and then come back to work in the fall of 2104.

And a hard working herd it is: just a few hours before the airport had their event to show off the project to media, a baby sheep was born.  He’s been named O’Hare.

ohare baby sheep

O’Hare isn’t the only airport to have animals as part of its landscaping crew. San Francisco International Airport and Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport have programs like this currently underway. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport tried it a few years back, but decided not to continue with the project.

(Photos courtesy Chicago Department of Aviation)