Pigs can’t fly on their own, but LiLou, a therapy pig, has been certified to help anxious passengers who are about to fly at San Francisco Airport.
The therapy pig has become the first certified therapy pig in the world and for one day every month, she can be found at SFO soothing ruffled passengers.
LiLou was born in Michigan but has lived in San Francisco for most of her life with owner Tatyana Danilova. As part of the “Wag Brigade” a program that brings therapy animals to help passengers ease their flight anxieties, LiLou wanders around the airport dressed in a pilot’s cap and has a toy piano where she can play tunes. She has learned how to raise a hoof in greeting and she’s always available to pose for selfies.
LiLou became a therapy dog after she and Danilova began walking around their neighbourhood and saw the joy they brought to strangers.
As a result, LiLou completed the training and became the first certified Therapy Pig in the Animal Assisted Therapy Program with San Francisco’s Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SF SPCA) in January 2016. A few months later she made her first visit to San Francisco Airport (SFO) and became the World’s 1st Airport Therapy Pig.
Besides the airport, LiLou also volunteers at hospitals, retirement homes, schools and other facilities in the Bay Area community.
LiLou is an example for many people to understand how impressive pigs are, and to think more thoroughly about their treatment, said Jane Goodall.