SAN FRANCISCO―In December 2013, San Francisco International Airport introduced the Wag Brigade, a program that uses therapy animals to ease the stress of travelers. The Brigade consisted of about 300 cats, dogs, and rabbits, all trained by San Francisco SPCA and certified by the Animal Assisted Therapy association. The Wag Brigade has introduced LiLou, the program’s first therapy pig.
Each therapy animal is carefully selected for the airport’s program, based on both their temperament and their suitability for the airport atmosphere. In order to further encourage travelers to interact with the therapy animals, vests that read “Pet Me!” are placed on the animals.
LiLou, a Juliana breed pig, will greet travelers in various costumes, providing them entertainment with a series of tricks.
“I can see that she is happy showing off her tricks and getting her praise,” said LiLou’s owner, Tatyana Danilova to USA Today. “It also brings positive emotions to me seeing that we can do something good for the community and bring more smiles in some unconventional way.”
LiLou will be awaiting travelers at SFO once a month. When not at the airport, LiLou can be found bringing comfort at an array of hospitals and senior centers throughout San Francisco.