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Pet therapy dogs ease stressed out holiday travelers in Syracuse

Volunteers with PAWS of CNY, Inc. walk their certified pet therapy dogs through the airport twice a week (CNYCentral).

Stressed out holiday travelers passing through Hancock International Airport can turn to man's best friend for a little support. Volunteers with PAWS of CNY, Inc. walk their certified pet therapy dogs through the airport twice a week, visiting with passengers waiting for their flights.

One of those dogs is "Poppy," a 3-year-old rescue. Her owner Martina St. Leger says "Poppy" loves people and she loves volunteering with her.

"Once you start doing this work it's personally rewarding," she says.

Jessica Marabella, Executive Cirector of Paws of CNY, Inc, says all the pet therapy dogs in the program are certified, and have been extensively tested for temperament, tolerance for noise and their willingness to be hugged by strangers. Marabella says volunteering is a great way for dog owners to do something with their pets that is rewarding and enjoyable for both the dog and owner.

"This program is great for people who want to get out of the house and do something fun with their pet,"she says.

In addition to the airport, pet therapy dogs also visit hospitals, nursing homes, schools and libraries.

For pet owners interested in having their pets certified there will be a pet therapy certification informational meeting on Jan. 26. To attend, CLICK HERE.

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