Labrador Retriever at the Airport

Photo Credit: mauinow1. File photo. (iStock)

Denver International Airport's Canine Airport Therapy Squad (CATS) is expected to appear in the 2023  Guinness World Records book, as the ‘Largest Airport Therapy Animal Program' in the world. 

According to a news release from airport officials, the program has 83 therapy dogs and one cat. 

“We are extremely proud of our CATS program and grateful for all the volunteers who donate their time to bring joy to our passengers and employees,” said DEN CEO Phil Washington in the release. 

“The continued growth of the program is a testament to the positive impact it has on travelers, and we look forward to welcoming even more teams as we continue to grow this beloved program.”

 The program began in October of 2015, with just 28 animals. According to airport officials, all CATS animals are registered with a recognized pet therapy association, trained, and insured. 

Today, volunteers with the CATS program have already donated 1,250 hours of time so far this year. 

"The program is designed to provide stress relief and delight passengers, making traveling a little less ruff. Their adorable faces and wagging tails provide travelers with memorable moments and smiles through a furry cuddle or pet. Passengers can encounter them throughout DEN sporting their distinctive violet plaid “Pet Me” vests," the release said. 

Anyone interested in donating time to DIA's CATS program should reach out to program organizers at info@flydenver.com.

“Whether it’s with a lick, a nuzzle or some amusing antics, our four-legged friends have an amazing ability to make us smile – even when we might be feeling stressed or anxious. The Canine Airport Therapy Squad at Denver Airport have taken this innate skill and run(a)way with it. It’s a pleasure to be able to recognize the hard-working dogs (and, of course, not to forget, Xeli the cat), as well as their owners, who selflessly give up their time to brighten the day of thousands of travelers every year,” said Adam Millward, Managing Editor, Guinness World Records.

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