The Pre-Board Pals program is a partnership between The Calgary Airport Authority and Calgary’s Pet Access League Society (PALS) that brings canine (and feline) pals to the airport to enhance the guest experience and reduce airport stress.
- Pre-Board Pals started in April of 2016
- The therapy dogs and cats roam the terminal during peak travel times every Wednesday to Saturday
- The Pre-Board Pals are outfitted in red vests that say “Pet Me”
- All animals are evaluated by Pet Access League Society to become official therapy pets.
Often we hear stories of a Pal that will be especially drawn to a specific passenger. When their handler engages in conversation, they will learn that the passenger has had a death in the family or has a fear of flying. Pals have a special way of knowing who needs extra love.
“At the start of the year Murray headed off to a man who was nose deep in his computer sitting at a West Jet gate. He lay down on the man’s feet and stayed there. I talked to the fellow and the lady sitting across from him while Murray was gently stroked. I tried to move on but Murray would not move. I apologized to the man and said he must be picking up something from him. Yes, said the man. My daughter died yesterday and I am going to her. Murray stayed with him until he boarded.”—Carol Martin, PBP Volunteer.
PALS is a non-profit organization providing regular pet therapy visits to senior citizens, children, teenagers and adults at over 50 facilities in Calgary including the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Sheldon Kennedy Child Advocacy Centre, Women’s Emergency Shelter. Through pet therapy, PALS is helping to improve the mental, physical, social and emotional health of the over 31,000 Calgarians every year. For additional information about PALS call 403-250-7257 or visit us online at www.palspets.com.