FLYING LESS ‘RUFF’ WITH THERAPY DOG INITIATIVE
Townville Airport are teaming up with Sensitive Companions to launch a new initiative in the terminal which will see Tink, an Alaskan Malamute Therapy Dog, available to passengers to offer emotional support.
The initiative is aimed at assisting members of the traveling public who may be PTSD sufferers, nervous flyers, or are experiencing any other anxieties or apprehensions to have a more enjoyable airport experience.
Townsville Airport General Manager Isabelle Yates said he was confident the initiative would be well received by the community.
“Many airports both within and outside of Australia have successfully introduced therapy animals into their terminals – from dogs, to miniature horses and even pigs,” said Ms Yates.
“Emotional-support animals go through an interview-like process to see how they interact with people, and also undergo significant training before being allowed to assist the public.
“To kick off the program, we hosted a fundraising barbeque at the airport today, with all funds from the launch going directly to Sensitive Companions to further assist in the care and training of their therapy dogs.”
Sensitive Companions is a local Townsville-based organisation managed by Chris Randall.
“Airports can often be stressful environments, so we are really excited to be introducing the therapy dog initiative to Townsville Airport,” said Ms Randall.
“Tink is such a great dog – she loves people and is so compassionate. We can’t wait for her to meet and greet passengers to enhance their airport experience.”
Minister for Disability Services, Coralee O’Rourke attended the launch in support of the cause.