Meow Patrol! Meet Duke Ellington Morris, The 1st Therapy Cat At San Francisco Airport

Therapy pets
by Tejashee Kashyap

Therapy pets at airports have become a heartwarming and popular initiative in recent years. These specially trained animals, often dogs, are brought into airport environments to provide comfort, support, and stress relief to passengers during their travel experiences.  Now, meet the first therapy cat at San Francisco  International Airport to qualify for the Wag Brigade, a heartwarming program that has brought joy, comfort, and smiles to countless travellers.

What Is Wag Brigade?


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This unique initiative combines the healing power of therapy animals with the bustling environment of an international airport, creating a calming and positive experience for passengers.  The Wag Brigade program was established by SFO with the intention of alleviating stress, anxiety, and homesickness that can often accompany air travel. The primary participants in this program are a team of specially trained therapy animals, predominantly dogs, who have proven to be excellent companions in providing emotional support to passengers.

These therapy animals have become honorary ambassadors of SFO, offering a sense of home away from home. For anxious fliers, the presence of the Wag Brigade dogs provides a soothing distraction, helping to ease nerves and create a more relaxed atmosphere. Families travelling with children often find the dogs to be a source of entertainment and comfort, ensuring a smoother journey for everyone involved.

Also Read: A Paw-fect Dog Festival Called Woofstock Is Happening In Dubai! Take You Pupper For Workshops, Activities & More!

Now, There’s A New Therapy Pet At Wag Brigade


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Predominantly dogs, they are carefully selected for their friendly temperament, calm demeanour, and ability to interact with individuals of all ages. Alongside their volunteer handlers, these four-legged ambassadors wander through designated areas of the airport, such as terminals and gate areas, with wagging tails and gentle demeanours. Their presence is a beacon of comfort and happiness in an otherwise hectic and fast-paced environment.

However now, the first therapy cat at the airport is named Duke Ellington Morris.  Duke was discovered starving in a San Francisco feral cat colony. After a short stint at SF Animal Care and Control, he spotted a young human that he decided was his ticket to a better life.

And that is how the officials realised that Duke was a special cat. Since then, he has been certified as an animal therapist. He has been helping humans of all ages deal with stress, illness, and hardship. Moving around putting smiles on their faces when they need it most.

What do you think of therapy pets?

Cover image credits: Instagram/SFOWagBrigade