San Francisco Airport Adds First Cat to Its Therapy Animal Team that Comforts Travelers

Duke the Cat, also known as Duke Ellington Morris, has recently become the first feline member to join the renowned “Wag Brigade” at San Francisco International Airport. The Wag Brigade is a cherished group of certified therapy animals dedicated to enhancing the travel experience for passengers.

Duke’s journey began when he was rescued from a feral cat colony in San Francisco, where he was struggling to survive. After receiving necessary care at San Francisco Animal Care and Control, Duke found his forever home with a loving family who quickly realized his extraordinary qualities.

Living in a nurturing environment unveiled Duke’s remarkably calm and gentle nature. Recognizing his potential, Duke’s family decided to enroll him in training to become a certified therapy animal through the Animal Assisted Therapy Program, provided by the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

Duke successfully completed his training and has been providing solace and support to individuals of all ages facing stress, illness, and adversity. Now, his focus lies in alleviating the challenges associated with air travel.

The Wag Brigade was established in 2013 at San Francisco International Airport with the goal of introducing certified therapy animals to the terminals, aiming to enhance the joy of passenger travel. These animals, easily identifiable by their “Pet Me” vests, freely roam the terminals, often sporting festive costumes during holidays and seasonal changes.

Every member of the Wag Brigade is meticulously chosen based on their temperament and suitability for airport environments. Before joining the team of compassionate caregivers, each animal undergoes an extensive training program.

Initially consisting of dogs, the Wag Brigade has now diversified its roster to include other remarkable members such as Alex, a Flemish giant rabbit, LiLou, a Juliana-breed pig, and their latest non-canine addition, Duke the Cat.

The Wag Brigade joyfully introduced Duke to their team through an Instagram post, featuring the feline adorned in a pilot’s uniform.

“Meet Duke Ellington Morris,” the caption proudly states. “Duke has become the first cat to join the Wag Brigade! We warmly welcome Duke to our diverse and exceptional group of therapy animals!”

The post sparked excitement among eager travelers, who flooded the comments section with inquiries about encountering Duke during their visits to the airport.

“I can hardly wait to meet him!” one commenter expressed, while another added, “Welcome, Duke! I absolutely adore the Wag Brigade.”

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