TYLER, TX (KLTV) - During the holiday season, more people than usual are traveling through airports across the nation, causing what some may call a stressful experience. So local nonprofit group Therapet decided to help.
Animal-assisted therapy is a growing field that uses dogs and other animals to help people handle the stress of everyday life.
"Therapet is an organization with specially trained animals; to utilize them in health, hope, and healing," Therapet volunteer Sherry Guinn said. "We go to several different facilities here locally."
Tyler residents are accustomed to seeing therapy dogs at hospitals around the area. But last year, the organization decided to take their efforts to the Tyler Pounds Regional Airport.
"One of the airport employees was saying that they had gotten a lot of positive feedback last year and they were excited for us to be back," she said. "So I think it just helps kind of take everything down a notch."
[endif]During her thirteen years with the nonprofit, Guinn has noticed a need for therapy dogs at airports specifically during the holiday season.
"I think it helps passengers, it's such a stressful time; flying is not enjoyable as it was in years past," she said. "I think it helps when you stop and pet the dog; you take your focus off the hurry and scurry and business of being here and it relaxes you."
There's no doubt traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday can be chaotic. So travelers of all ages enjoy taking the time to greet and pet furry friends. Some travelers believe dogs are the best thing to see when they step off a plane.
"It was pretty nice to come off the plane and see some pretty excited faces," traveler Noah Fanous said. "[When] I see a therapy dog or just a dog in general I generally get pretty excited and it calms me down."
Since a flight can take several hours, Therapet hopes to provide a few moments of cheer for all passengers.
If travelers missed out on seeing the Therapet dogs this time around, they will be back during the Christmas holiday.