OUTAGAMIE COUNTY, Wis. (NBC 26) -- The ATW Therapy dogs will return this Thursday for their first day back of volunteering. There will be five dog and handler teams at the airport for the big day.
The coronavirus pandemic has put a hold on many activities including travel plans, but as everyone works to find their level of comfort, some people are excited to be able to take a vacation or visit family in other states.
Some people have maybe always struggled with the anxiety that sometimes comes along with flying even before Covid-19. Appleton International Airport Director, Abe Weber says this program is very popular and they're excited to have the dogs back to help ease passengers before they take off.
The program, in partnership with the Fox Valley Humane Association was halted for about four months during the height of pandemic in the United States.
Volunteers say it's a rewarding experience to see the dogs connect with local and travelers from afar. The Director with the Fox Valley Humane Association, Vicki Prey, who is also a volunteer with her dog Lucy, says she at first couldn't believe her rowdy four-year-old black lab mix could be a therapy dog, but after her training and now years of experience she is helping make a difference in so many people's lives. Lucy is now a relaxed, well trained 13-year-old and continues to volunteer with her handler.
If you're interested in the Therapy dog training program, it is on hold for the time being, but organizers tell us they hope to bring it back by the end of the year or early 2021. For more information about the program you can visit their website.