LAX Brings In Volunteer Dogs to Assist Travelers After Las Vegas Massa

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
After the mass shooting in Las Vegas, the Los Angeles International Airport is bringing in more canine therapy volunteers to give stress-relief to travelers.

In April 2013, the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) has had volunteer dogs ‘hanging around’ terminals to bring some stress relief to travelers who may not love flying. The Pets Unstressing Passengers (PUP) program now is bringing in and looking for more volunteers to help travelers going through in light of the horrific massacre in Las Vegas yesterday at the Route 91 Harvest Festival.

Related: Cunning Cat Infiltrates Airport’s Canine Therapy Program [Video]

Many Passengers traveling back are all worn, and literally shell-shocked. Seven volunteer dogs were already working and PUP program director Heidi Huebner sent a call out for more volunteers to help in light of the tragedy.

There are 72 dogs in the program and all are rescues who have loving homes. They take turns walking the LAX terminals with their handlers, and they wear red vests that encourage passengers to pet them as they say, “Pet me.”

One volunteer handler says that anytime something like this happens, people tend to be on edge everywhere. Their dogs help calm passengers down, even if they have no connection. Huebner said the dogs she worked with didn’t have any interaction with passengers coming back from Vegas, but still, it was sweet to hear passengers show love and kindness and kind sentiments and well wishes for the people in Las Vegas. Huebner says dogs just bring out the best in people, and they tend to give their thoughts when that happens.

Related: Story of Airport Service Dog’s Retirement Party Gives Us Wings!

Many travelers recognized there were extra dogs around and tweeted their thanks.


— Linda Boyd-Dickson (@adnildyob) October 3, 2017

Bless them hero puppers. 🐶

— Matthew Gottula (@DLthings) October 2, 2017

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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