Therapy dogs bring comfort, smiles to Memphis airport travelers
Thursday, January 23, 2014
MEMPHIS, TN – Memphis International Airport (MEM) and West Tennessee Therapy Dogs are partnering to give local air travelers some canine companionship. Therapy dogs brought by volunteers from the West Tennessee Therapy Dogs organization have been walking through the airport and greeting passengers. The dogs are colorfully adorned with signs that say “I’m a therapy dog. Please pet me.” Thus far, passengers have been happy to oblige.
Scott Brockman, President and CEO of the Memphis-Shelby Airport Authority, says that the dogs help provide an enjoyable experience. “We want our passengers to have a ‘Positively MEMorable’ travel experience at MEM, and our travelers have been very enthusiastic about this program so far. A visit with a friendly dog is an easy way to put a smile on someone’s face.”
West Tennessee Therapy Dogs was founded three years ago by JoAnne Fusco and Anne Weiss, both of whom had years of experience volunteering in Memphis. “The airport is one of our favorite places to bring the dogs as we see the reaction from travelers,” said Weiss. “On one day in particular, our dogs helped bring happiness to a man being deployed to Afghanistan, a woman whose fiancé had just left for an extended trip, and a woman who hadn’t seen her own dog in three months.”
The therapy dogs are scheduled to be at the airport Friday, Jan. 24 at 9:30 a.m. to greet travelers. You can find out more about West Tennessee Therapy Dogs at www.westtntherapydogs.org and on Facebook.