one green planet
one green planet

The Wag Brigade program was first launched in 2013 and partners with the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals to train and certify animals to give emotional support and stress relief to travelers.

Source: Mercury News/YouTube

The Wag Brigade at the San Francisco International Airport helps calm the nerves of travelers while also looking stinking cute. The participating animals include LiLou the pig, Alex a giant 34-pound rabbit, and a mix of 12 dogs and cats. Each animal works a two-hour shift once per week.

The animals reportedly undergo an evaluation to determine if they can handle the chaotic airport environment.

“We do meet a lot of people here in the airport who have never met a dog, who’ve never pet a dog,” Jennifer Kazarian, who runs the Wag Brigade at SFO, told Axios. “As a child might do, they walk right up to the dog and try to stick a finger in the eyeball or in the mouth, or just grab a tail or an ear. So we need to make sure that [the animal is] going to be okay.”

She said that the Wag Brigade is “the unicorns of therapy animals.”

The animals go where the crowds are and wear black vests with the words “Pet me”. The team eventually hopes to expand the program and help more passengers feel at ease in the chaos that is the airport.

Related Content:

Easy Ways to Help the Planet:

  • Eat Less Meat: Download Food Monster, the largest plant-based recipe app on the App Store, to help reduce your environmental footprint, save animals and get healthy. You can also buy a hard or soft copy of our favorite vegan cookbooks.
  • Reduce Your Fast Fashion Footprint: Take the initiative by standing up against fast fashion pollution and supporting sustainable and circular brands like Tiny Rescue that raise awareness around important issues through recycled zero-waste clothing designed to be returned and remade over and over again.
  • Support Independent Media: Being publicly-funded gives us a greater chance to continue providing high-quality content. Please consider supporting us by donating!
  • Sign a Petition: Your voice matters! Help turn petitions into victories by signing the latest list of must-sign petitions to help people, animals, and the planet.
  • Stay Informed: Keep up with the latest news and essential stories involving animals, the environment, sustainable living, food, health, and human interest topics by subscribing to our newsletter!
  • Do What You Can: Reduce waste, plant trees, eat local, travel responsibly, reuse stuff, say no to single-use plastics, recycle, vote smart, switch to cold water laundry, divest from fossil fuels, save water, shop wisely, donate if you can, grow your own food, volunteer, conserve energy, compost, and don’t forget about the microplastics and microbeads lurking in common household and personal care products!