Detroit Metro introduces pet therapy dogs and sunflower lanyards

Dogs can help relieve stress people feel at airports

Passengers at Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) can feel more at ease thanks to new initiatives at the airport.

Two excellent new programmes introduced by DTW are:

  • DTW Dogs Pet Therapy program
  • Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program

Interacting with therapy dogs can help relieve the stress some people feel when travelling through an airport.

Passengers with a hidden disability can discreetly identify themselves by wearing a special lanyard.

DTW Dogs Pet Therapy Program

DTW designed the Dogs Pet Therapy to eliminate some of the stress people can feel at airports through interaction with certified therapy dogs.

Therapy dog at airports are a great idea. A golden retriever with a wagging tail makes everybody smile.

The owners and their four-legged companions are members of The Fur Angels Pet Therapy Group, based in Rochester, Michigan. Each team volunteering at DTW has been trained to assist passengers, similar to the Airport Ambassador Volunteer Program.

The first Fur Angels members to join the DTW Dogs program are a Great Dane, two golden retrievers, a toy fox terrier, and their owners.

The teams volunteer in the gate areas of both terminals.

Hidden Disabilities Sunflower Program

Passengers with a hidden disability traveling through Detroit Metropolitan Airport will now have the opportunity to discreetly identify themselves by displaying a Sunflower lanyard or wristband.

A hidden disability is not visible and may be physical, mental or neurological. When airport workers see the Sunflower symbol they are aware that those passengers may need special attention or additional assistance.

More than 160 airports worldwide, including over 50 in the United States, recognise the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower.

Chad Newton, Wayne County Airport Authority CEO:

“We are constantly looking for opportunities to address the needs and exceed the expectations of our customers.

“We hope the Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program will help travelers across the disability community feel even more welcome at DTW. We want our customers to know they’re supported.

“Through our DTW Dogs initiative, we’re fairly confident every customer who crosses paths with our volunteers will leave smiling.

“After the last two years of the pandemic, our DTW team wants to lift everyone’s spirits; we believe these new programs will accomplish that goal.”

Internet links

Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW)

DTW Dogs Pet Therapy Program

DTW Hidden Disabilities Sunflower program