This airport just added a cat to its animal therapy team


The San Francisco International Airport just shared some pawsitive news: The airport’s team of certified stress-relief animals (aka the Wag Brigade) has welcomed its first feline member. His name is Duke Ellington Morris, and he goes by “Duke the Cat.”

When the Wag Brigade announced Duke’s “hiring” on Instagram and Facebook, he received lots of loving comments from his adoring public.

“He looks smashing in his uniform,” wrote Ximena Zhao on Facebook. Another passenger named Yuan-Chen Li took one look at Duke’s handsome face and tried to set him up with her own cat. Explaining that she would be transferring planes in San Francisco with her cat Frida, she asked, “Would Duke like to get together?”

Duke is a rescue cat who was starving on the streets of San Francisco in a feral cat colony. He was adopted by a family who decided that his unusually gentle nature made him a good candidate to be a therapy animal. He was trained and certified by the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and began assisting people with stress and illness. In his new position, he will be helping travelers cope with the anxiety of air travel.

While the Wag Brigade is mostly made up of dogs, the team also includes a pig named LiLou. Aside from being very attractive (that pedicure!), LiLou delights people in the airport with her many tricks. These include waving, shaking, performing on her piano, twirling and bowing. Oh, and she can play ball (pushing it with her snout), as you can see in this profile of her shared by 60 Second Docs.

There’s also a Flemish giant rabbit named Alex the Great. Alex is very docile and doesn’t mind having strangers pet his incredibly soft fur. Here he is adorably going through the security screening at the airport:

@alex.thegreat100♬ Run

Duke the Cat might pick up some pointers from Alex the Great, who has parlayed his therapy animal status into many trips to Oracle Park baseball stadium. In fact, he’s been dubbed the official “Rally Rabbit” of the San Francisco Giants!

Welcome to the Wag Brigade, Duke!

Animals, News, Pets, Travel
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About the Author
Jennifer Graham Kizer
Jennifer Graham Kizer has written features and essays for over a dozen magazines, including Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, Health, Parents, Parenting, Redbook and TV Guide.

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