Dogs relieving travel anxiety at Jacksonville International Airport

Jacksonville comfort dog program

Dogs are relieving travel anxiety at Jacksonville International Airport.

Jax Paws, a program allowing specially trained K-9s and their handlers to walk the airport, launched Monday.

Anne Bell with Jax Paws explained, “It really has been proven that physiologically it calms the person, lowers the blood pressure … people seem to respond well to the dogs.”

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More than a dozen dogs have been through the training, according to Bell.

She says the licensing process is extensive, but more volunteers are ready to join.

“Probably give this two or three months to see how this goes and then open this up to other handlers”, Bell said.

The dogs can greet passengers at ticketing, in the lobby and terminals.

Travelers say the furry friends are a welcomed addition to their trips.

Traveler Kari Conley said, “Anything that gives people a break before having to deal with TSA, with bag checks, with customs.”

K-9s are scheduled to be at JIA Mondays, Wednesdays, Friday and weekends from 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.