Sunport Volunteer Programs Celebrate Sixth and Third Anniversaries – May 2, 2018
Mayor Tim Keller and the team at the Albuquerque International Sunport are celebrating the anniversary of its volunteer program with an appreciation luncheon in their honor. The Sunport Ambassador Program, now in its sixth year, continues to thrive as the therapy dog program reaches its third anniversary. The ABQ K9 Crew, which began in 2015 with just five therapy dogs, has grown to 23 dogs and countless happy passengers.
“Our volunteer program offers so many benefits for passengers, but the therapy dog program in particular has been such a great addition to the Sunport and our passengers love having them around,” said Nyika Allen, Aviation Director for the City of Albuquerque. “We love all of our volunteers, and the dogs offer such a positive experience for travelers who experience stress or anxiety and even for those that might just be missing their family pets.”
Therapy dogs and their handlers volunteer at the Sunport and offer a variety of services to help ease the stress of travel. As Sunport Ambassadors, the human volunteers are available to answer questions and help passengers navigate the airport. As therapy dogs, the K9 Ambassadors offer free petting sessions, handshakes, slobbery kisses, and even trading cards with their picture and fun facts about their home life.
“These ambassadors are demonstrating with their actions what I ask folks to do every day, to step up when you see a way to pitch in,” said Mayor Tim Keller. “They show nearly five million visitors the spirit of Albuquerque from the moment they touch down.”
The ABQ K9 Crew ranges in size from a small Pomeranian mix named Moorea to a human-sized Irish Wolfhound named Caoilfhionn and everything in between. Each of the pups wears a yellow vest touting “PET ME” to let travelers know they are there for them. Their human companions offer treats, trading cards, and even a simple friendly smile to those that gravitate to their beloved pets.
For more information on the Sunport Ambassador Program, visit abqsunport.com.