Airplane travel can be stressful. And since the onset of Covid-19, those stress levels seemed to have only increased for travelers, what with all the canceled flights and of course the stress of possibly contracting COVID. But if you are traveling in or out of the Denver International Airport, there’s a group readily available to help eliminate some of that travel stress from your trip: The DENVER CATS.
The DENVER CATS are a dedicated group of volunteer pets and owners of over 80 dogs (wait, what?) and one cat named Xeli. CATS is actually an acronym for Canine Airport Therapy Squad - because who doesn’t love a great acronym?
While someone certainly had a sense of humor when naming the group, owners share their time and family pets to participate in this program. All CATS are registered with a recognized pet therapy association and are trained and insured.
Representing more than 40 breeds, DENVER CATS is one of the largest therapy animal programs in the country. The team is made up of four-legged volunteers who delight travelers and ease their travel worries with a friendly tail-wag. It's been shown that petting an animal can help release oxytocin, the "feel-good" hormone, as well as lower cortisol, a primary hormone related to stress.
Travelers can encounter the ever-helpful and ever-adorable CATS throughout the airport, sporting their distinctive violet plaid “Pet Me” vests. You can hug, pet, and take pictures with DEN’s affectionate comfort crew.
We’d welcome this type of air travel crew at any airport. Would you like to see this as part of a normal setup for airports?
Photographs provided courtesy of Denver International Airport and the Canine Airport Therapy Squad.