THERAPY DOG PROGRAM LAUNCHED AT YXE AIRPORT
Saskatoon, SK: Friday the 13th seems like a perfect day for the Saskatoon Airport
Authority (SAA) to launch their stress reducing Therapy Dog program! “Fridays are a
busy travel day and as we enter into the spring break, the airport will be even busier.”
comments Stephen Maybury, President & CEO at the SAA, “The Airport is a perfect
setting,” continues Maybury. “For some, air travel can be stressful. We want the
experience to be as positive as possible.”
The Therapy Dog program is designed to reduce anxiety and tension in many settings.
Coordinated through St. John Ambulance (SJA), the dogs come in all shapes and sizes-
breed and gender are not important. The dogs qualify through a national certification
process and can then be available for programs in facilities such as hospitals, schools
and universities. More recently, the benefits of the program are being seen in airports.
“These dogs thrive in environments where they can brighten the day of those they
meet,” comments Ashley Balysky, Community Services Coordinator with the SJA.
“Studies have shown the benefits are both physical and emotional, with most (benefits)
providing a degree of relaxation.”
For more information contact:
Manager Customer & Terminal Services
Saskatoon Airport Authority
Community Services Coordinator
St. John Ambulance
About the Saskatoon Airport (airport code YXE)
Saskatoon Airport Authority is a partner in developing Saskatoon and
Saskatchewan by operating a world-class airport that is connecting Saskatoon to
the world. YXE is currently Canada’s twelfth busiest airport, with record growth in
excess of 1.48 million passengers in 2014. A 10-year, $115-million capital
investment is underway including a $53- million air terminal building expansion
scheduled for completion in 2015.
St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program
The St. John Ambulance Therapy Dog Program launched in Saskatchewan in 2007.
Currently there are over 125 teams (handler and dog) in the program that visit such
places as the Universities, hospitals, schools, day programs, summer camps, homeless
shelters, libraries, the list is almost endless. We are very excited to add the Saskatoon
Airport to this list.