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(Los Angeles, California- April 15, 2013) In anticipation of National Volunteer Week (April 21-27) starting today passengers at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) will be greeted by a new breed of furry Airport Volunteers—dogs! Airport officials today announced the new program—PUP (Pets Unstressing Passengers) at LAX. As one of the few programs of its kind in the United States the LAX PUPs program hopes to provide a less stressful airport environment especially in the midst of the tax deadline.
"We are pleased to launch the PUP program in honor of National Volunteer Week," said Los Angeles World Airports Executive Director Gina Marie Lindsey. "It’s a great opportunity to spread happiness to millions of travelers from all over the world. Expect to see the PUP’s on a regular basis in Terminals at LAX."
Various trained dogs and handlers, on rotating schedules, will roam through the gate areas on the departure level of each terminal. They will visit with passengers awaiting flights, provide comfort, and offer airport information. Each volunteer underwent classroom and in-terminal training to learn about LAX and how to assist passengers. Each dog and handler team will be equipped with a trading card featuring the dog’s vital statistics and airport improvements information.
"It is our pleasure in partnering with Los Angeles World Airports to spread happiness to millions of people from all over the world every day at an exciting new venue for our organization," said Executive Director for Therapy Dogs Inc. Billie Smith.
Since 1990 Therapy Dogs Inc. has been, spreading smiles and joy to people in hospitals, special needs centers, schools, nursing homes, etc. All PUP volunteers and dogs are registered with this volunteer organization dedicated to regulating, testing and registering therapy dogs and their handlers for the purpose of providing comfort and stress relief at facilities such as hospitals, schools, senior homes and other institutions. The organization’s objective is to form a network of caring individuals who are willing to share their special animals in order to bring happiness and cheer to people, young and old alike. For information on volunteering at LAX please visit www.lawa.org/vip or call (424) 646-VIP1 (8471).
About Los Angeles International Airport
LAX is the sixth busiest airport in the world and third in the United States, offering 680 daily flights to 96 domestic cities and 930 weekly nonstop flights to 59 cities in 30 countries on 63 commercial air carriers. It ranks 14th in the world and fifth in the U.S. in air cargo tonnage processed. In 2012, LAX served nearly 63.7 million passengers, processed over 1.9 million tons of air cargo valued at nearly $89.6 billion, and handled 605,480 aircraft operations (landings and takeoffs). An economic impact study in 2011 reported that operations at LAX generated 294,400 jobs in Los Angeles County with labor income of $13.6 billion and economic output of more than $39.7 billion. This activity added $2.5 billion to local and state revenues. LAX is part of a system of three Southern California airports – along with LA/Ontario International and Van Nuys general aviation – that are owned and operated by Los Angeles World Airports, a proprietary department of the City of Los Angeles that receives no funding from the City’s general fund.
For more information about LAX, please visit www.lawa.aero/lax or follow us on Twitter @LAX_Official, on Facebook at www.facebook.com/LAInternationalAirport , and on YouTube at www.YouTube.com/laxairport1 .