July 30, 2018
By: Arielle Wysocki
Jacksonville, FL - Between delayed flights, luggage issue, and standing in long security lines, a trip to the airport can sometimes be a very stressful situation.
Recognizing just how overwhelming an airport can be, the Jacksonville Aviation Authority has launched a program aimed at reducing stress and creating a more relaxed atmosphere for travelers- and it involves man’s best friend.
The new program, called JaxPaws, allows volunteers and therapy dogs to walk through the Jacksonville International Airport to offer emotional support to anxious travelers.
“It really has been proven that physiologically it calms the person, lowers the blood pressure,” says Volunteer Coordinator Anne Bell.
She says people have been responding well to the dogs so far. For travelers like Kari Conley, the dogs are a welcome addition to their trip.
“Anything that gives people a break before having to deal with the TSA, bag checks, with customs,” she says.
Bell says more the licensed and fully-trained therapy dogs are scheduled to be at Jacksonville International Airport every Monday, Wednesday, Friday, and during the weekends. She says they’re hoping to be able to expand the program in the future.