MIA’s new therapy dogs get travelers in the rhythm to fly

Miami's Community Newspapers

Miami International Airport’s new therapy dog program, the Miami Hound Machine, made its debut on Sept. 24 when the airport’s five new MIA volunteer K-9 ambassadors — Abbey, Belle, Dash, Donovan and Pico — and their owners “hit the stage” inside Concourse D to begin spreading love and warmth to travelers.

The Miami Hound Machine dogs, all certified by the Alliance of Therapy Dogs with at least six months of experience, will volunteer their time at MIA to de-stress and comfort passengers during peak travel times from Thursday to Monday in the busiest areas of the airport. Miami Hound Machine appearance times and locations will be shared via MIA’s social media accounts with the hashtag #MIAmiHoundMachine.

“I commend the leadership team at MIA for once again improving the travel experience for our passengers,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos A. Gimenez. “The Miami Hound Machine team is already adding to the positive first impression we want all our passengers to have of Miami-Dade County.”

The Miami Hound Machine joins other recent customer service enhancements at MIA, including a pre-security yoga room, indoor pet relief areas, and the MIAmamas nursing suites, with the goal to make travel easier for passengers.

“We’re extremely grateful to the Miami Hound Machine volunteers for their commitment to lending a hand, and a paw, to assist our travelers,” said Miami-Dade Aviation director Lester Sola. “We know that traveling can sometimes be stressful, so this new program will certainly make a difference in keeping passengers at ease while they are with us.”

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