TF Green Airport is going to the dogs, quite literally! PVD Pups is the airport’s new pet therapy program. When travelers walk through the terminal they will now be greeted by some furry four legged friends. From a husky to an English bulldog to a goldendoodle and a mixed breed (mutt!), the dogs and their handlers are all volunteers who have undergone extensive training. Dogs have good citizen certification and have been certified as a PVD Pup after completing a specialized training program specific to the airport environment. Under the direction of Susan Parker of Dynamic Dog Training, to date, 9 dogs have completed the 9 week course, learning skills from basic obedience to desensitization to other animals and food and other stimuli in the airport environment. All handlers are also required to pass a security clearance before joining the PVD Pups team.
PVD Pups lead dog is Teddy A.K.A. Theodore Francis Green, a four year old mixed breed dog whose favorite game is riding the airport escalator. Travelers may see pups outfitted in green vests with the words “pet me” walking through the terminal on any given day with a focus on peak travel times. For more information on PVD Pups, visit dynamicdogstraining.webs.com or follow their Facebook page under Dynamic Dog Training Service.
The concept of therapy dogs was first started in World War II where they were used to lift the spirits of injured and sick soldiers. Similar programs are in place at more than 27 airports nationwide.