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Meet the chill dogs tasked with keeping travelers relaxed at LAX

Pit bulls, poodles, chihuahuas, and French bulldogs

Stress reduction. #laxpups

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Los Angeles International Airport is making a lot of changes to terminals and planning a major overhaul to make getting in and out of the airport less stressful. One thing they definitely shouldn’t change is a four-year-old program that allows volunteer dogs to hang out with travelers for the purpose of helping them chill out in the less-than-relaxing environment.

The Washington Post checked in on the program, called PUP (short for Pets Unstressing Passengers), which deploys a cute team of up to eight dogs in red “Pet Me!” vests and name tags throughout the week.

A tour of the hashtag #LAXpups on Instagram suggests that the dogs are pretty popular. The owner of a PUP dog named Penelope told the Post that her dog “had pink lipstick on her forehead a mere 15 minutes after a recent visit to the terminal.”

To participate, dogs’ owners must pass a background check and get fingerprinted. For the dogs, it’s even more selective. They have to be at least two years old and have experience in a “recognized” dog therapy organization. They also must pass a trio of tests designed to see how they interact with people and other dogs in a variety of environments.

By the end of this summer, there will be 72 dogs in the program. LAX has adorable playing cards for the dogs participating in PUP, but we’ve rounded up cute pics of some participants (and their Instagram handles, when possible) to help travelers identify a PUP dog when they see one.


Chance doing his job bringing love and smiles to #LAX

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Ryu and Echo

Ryu getting some love from the kids at LAX. #laxpup #laxpups #petsunstressingpassengers #therapydogryu #therapydog

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-WooF- #nofilter #googlepixel #therapydogecho

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Lynwood brightening up people's day at LAX .... #lax #laxpup #mypitbullisfamily #volunteers #therapydog #larpbo #laxpups

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Bela Belaire


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