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Therapy Dogs Ease Flying Jitters At Bradley Airport

Bright Spot Therapy Dogs
Certified therapy dogs James, an Australian Shepherd, and Raven, a German Sherpherd, visit Bradley International Airport twice a week, where they bring comfort to thousands of passengers.

Bradley International Airport is giving stressed travelers the chance to hug a therapy dog during the holiday season.

Officials at the Windsor Locks airport say their six-month pilot program with the dogs was so popular among passengers that now people can pat and spend some time with the dogs in the airport concourse two days a week.

Kevin Dillon, executive director of the Connecticut Airport Authority, says, “As I walk the airport and see the canines interact with our passengers. It’s amazing how they gravitate to the dogs.”

The dogs and their handlers are provided at no cost by Massachusetts-based Bright Spot Therapy Dogs. Founder Cynthia Hinckley says the dogs help lower people's blood pressure.

Dillon says the airport intends to make the therapy dogs a permanent feature at the airport.

“Folks coming to the airport, particularly during the holiday period, are a little bit frazzled. They don’t travel often. In some cases this may be the first time that they’re flying or the first time they’re flying in a long time. You know, it’s a way to take their mind off some of the jitters they might have about flying.”

Bradley joins a growing list of more than 30 airports around the country with therapy dog programs.

This report contains information from the Associated Press.