Local News

Redmond Airport Welcomes New Therapy Dog

REDMOND, OR -- The Redmond Airport's newest therapy dog joined the program this week. "Jasper" and handler Beth are among more than a dozen teams regularly volunteering for a few hours a week in the terminal. 

Erinn Shaw helped bring therapy dogs to Roberts Field almost a year ago; she now oversees the program. "Traveling can be stressful for passengers, and sometimes certain circumstances create a little more anxiety than others," Shaw tells KBND News, "And sometimes people leave their dogs at home and they’re upset that they’re going to be missing their dogs. [We] just wanted to provide a sort of comfort and stress relief for our passengers and our staff here at the airport." Shaw says, "Our teams generally try to approach passengers and just ask them if they’d like to pet the dog. And it’s nice because they sit and spend a little time chatting about their journey, where they’re headed or where they’re coming from."

Jasper will, no doubt, become as popular with travelers as Gunner, Tilly and the others. "Passengers love them, kids love them, our staff loves them. They’re a really welcome addition to the airport. Our TSA looks forward to the dogs coming." Shaw says they've become local celebrities, "All of the staff, and even a lot of passengers follow the dogs on Facebook and our social media. Most people even know the dogs by name now." She adds, "You know, there’s a handler that’s a part of the team. Most of the time, people talk to the dogs, they know the dog’s name and they kind of forget about the handler."

Redmond's program is modeled after therapy dog programs at around 100 other airports in the U.S. Locally, dogs are certified through Compassionate Canines of Central Oregon. In addition to the airport, many also volunteer at local schools, libraries, assisted living facilities and hospitals. Training takes six to eight months, and Shaw says the Redmond Airport prefers at least one-year of therapy dog experience after certification.


On Air Now

Dan Bongino
Dan Bongino
9:00am - 12:00pm
The Dan Bongino Show





News Disclaimers