SFO Has a New Adorable “Therapy Cat”
San Francisco International Airport recently announced the Wag Brigade, the Airport’s team of certified stress-relief animals, has a new adorable member: Duke the Cat, rescued from the streets of San Francisco and certified by the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), which certifies all participating animals through their Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) Program.
Duke Ellington Morris was discovered starving in a San Francisco feral cat colony. After a short stint at San Francisco Animal Care and Control, Duke spotted a young human that he decided was his ticket to a better life. Was he ever correct—Duke immediately took to his new family, and it quickly became clear to his new guardians that this was a special cat. Since then, Duke has been certified as an animal therapist, helping humans of all ages deal with stress, illness, hardship, and putting smiles on their faces when they need it most.
Launched in December 2013, the SFO “Wag Brigade” brings trained animals to the terminals to make passenger travel more enjoyable. The San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) certifies all participating animals through their Animal Assisted Therapy (AAT) Program. Prior to returning to SFO, the SF SPCA recertified all participating animals. The Wag Brigade returned to SFO in October 2021 after a 20-month absence due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Wag Brigade originally featured therapy dogs; however, three years later, Lilou, a Juliana-breed pig joined the beloved Wag Brigade team. Plus, there’s now a giant 34-pound Flemish rabbit named Alex on the squad too. Carefully selected for their temperament and airport suitability, the animals wear vests that read “Pet Me!” which identify them. Say hello to Duke the next time you’re at SFO.
Read more about Duke the Cat.