Today, Vancouver International Airport (YVR) launched the Less Airport Stress Initiative (LASI), an innovative program that has YVR Ambassador Dogs throughout the terminal to provide all airport users with a new way to deal with anxiety associated with travel, work and general stress.
“We recognize that an airport can be a stressful environment. By introducing the YVR Ambassador Dogs through our LASI initiative (Less Airport Stress Initiative), we hope that our four-legged friends will help to ease any anxiety associated with travel,” said Reg Krake, Director, Customer Care, Vancouver Airport Authority. “We want all our guests to have a positive experience at YVR and we know the LASI initiative will enhance the airport experience for passengers, visitors and employees.”
YVR partnered with St. John Ambulance and their Therapy Dog program to provide seven dogs for the LASI initiative. Molly, Bailey, Mira, Norman, Grover, Kermode and Soda will be onsite in the terminal Mondays through Fridays, from 11:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. The YVR Ambassador Dogs will be accompanied by a dog handler and YVR Green Coat Volunteer, ready to answer any questions. The dogs are easily identifiable with their YVR branded leashes and St. John Ambulance bandanas.
There are many working dogs at YVR. The LASI program provides a great opportunity to remind passengers about the differences between service dogs and YVR Ambassador Dogs. Service dogs are extensively trained to perform tasks for an individual with a disability, while YVR’s Ambassador Dogs are meant to be interacted with. In order to provide an environment where everyone, including our four-legged friends, is well-respected, we encourage the public to follow YVR’s key accessibility message of “just ask, just listen”. It is always great practice to simply ask the dog handler before interacting with a dog.
YVR has piloted the LASI initiative since December of 2016 and has received strong feedback on the positive interactions from the YVR Ambassador Dogs. Passengers and airport employees are encouraged to participate by interacting with the Ambassador Dogs.-YVR-