Therapy Dogs Making Visits to Bradley International Airport

Bradley International Airport is taking a new approach to easing passenger’s stress this holiday season with therapy dogs.

Savannah Ford is one of many children who stopped to pet therapy dogs James and Raven while traveling through Bradley with their families. Ford is on her way home to North Franklin after a long trip to Florida, and said seeing James is making her day.

Her mom, Yvette Ford, said the dogs were an unexpected but welcome surprise at the airport and said Savannah was having a blast.

"This is going to be a memory that she’s going to take with her," Ford said.

Frequent flyer Ashton Edwards made a beeline for Raven as soon as he walked through the doors of Bradley’s Terminal A.

"I walk in and I get to pet dogs. I had a really really stressful day, so this is awesome," he said.

The therapy dogs are at Bradley through a partnership with Bright Spot Therapy Dogs, Inc. Founder Cynthia Hinckley explained the airport is the perfect place for their therapy dogs and volunteer handlers because it tends to be a stressful place.

Sally King loves seeing the effect her Australian shepherd, James, has on travelers. King said she’s seen many at the airport who are nervous flyers, or making a trip to visit sick loved ones, who have come right up to pet and cuddle James as soon as they see him.

Right now, the dogs are at Bradley two days a week. If the program takes off, they could soon be there every day.

Kevin Dillon, Executive Director of the CT Airport Authority, said they also try to bring the therapy dogs past security to the gate areas. Dillon described how the dogs roam throughout the airport.

"I’ve personally seen them working and it’s just amazing to see passengers gravitate to the dogs." 

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