Therapy dog aims to relieve stress for South Dakota airport passengers

South Dakota News

RAPID CITY, S.D. (KELO) — Whether you missed your flight or it got delayed, sometimes even if you’re right on time, flying can be a stressful experience.

Meet the Rapid City Regional Airport’s newest employee, Dillon.

He’s a certified therapy dog. His job is to help passengers feel less stressed by his soft fur and warm presence.

“Any time you get a chance to pet a dog is always good. I’d take him home but y’all probably wouldn’t let me. And the two we have at home might not appreciate the extra four legs, but we both just love dogs,” Paul & Jennifer Greiner, passengers from North Carolina, said.

Janet and Gus Fiori are headed to Massachusetts. They say Dillon easily made their flying experience a calming one.

“I’m thinking of him now rather than getting on the plane!” Janet Fiori said.

Dillon’s handlers are Kathie and Daniel Brusseau. They try to bring Dillon out to the airport a few times a week.

“We’re really happy to bring Dillon out and he loves it, he just looks forward to it. It’s just something we do and it’s nice to be able to do it together, husband and wife, and we love talking to people and meeting people and about everybody likes Dillon,” Kathie said.

This is the first year that the Rapid City Regional Airport has RAPaws for Passengers but there are high hopes for the future.

“It’s our pleasure to do it and it’s fun to see the reactions of people and how they soften up and enjoy him. We often hear a lot of dog stories when we are out here about other people’s dogs,” Daniel said.

Reminding passengers here at the Rapid City Airport that they can feel stress-free on their flight, thanks to a dog that’s earning his wings… and wags!

Airport officials say they hope to grow the RAPaws for Passengers Program by adding more therapy dogs in the future.

Copyright 2021 Nexstar Media Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

Local News

More Local News