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Lort Smith Therapy Dogs Help Christmas Travellers

Lort Smith pet therapy dogs will be helping air travellers de-stress this Friday 22nd December at Melbourne Airport.

Christmas can be a stressful time of year, especially when air travel is involved, but now iconic Melbourne animal care institution Lort Smith has the perfect solution: a little pet therapy! 

In conjunction with Melbourne Airport, Lort Smith is trialling an Australian first initiative which involves trained pet therapy dogs spending time during the morning rush, engaging with travellers and offering the opportunity for a moment’s escape from the stress of travelling. 

“At Melbourne Airport we’re servicing almost 100,000 travellers on an average day and during the festive season that figure is expected to rise by 25 per cent” says Melbourne Airport Chief Financial Officer David Hall.

“We know that spending time with a companion animal is linked to a range of amazing health benefits, particularly around lowering stress and increasing wellbeing" says Lort Smith CEO David Herman. 

Research shows that interacting with dogs can release oxytocin, the hormone associated with bonding and affection, and may also decrease stress, help people breathe easier and lower blood pressure.

The Lort Smith therapy dogs will be located in Terminal 4, from 7am to 11am on Friday 22 DecemberDonations towards the organisation’s work will also gladly be accepted.

For 25 years, Lort Smith pet therapy dogs, along with their volunteer handlers, have been supporting medical, aged care and other allied health facilities across Melbourne –including the Royal Children’s Hospital and Peter MacCallum Cancer Centre.

During their visits, they spend time with patients and residents, providing a unique and beneficial emotional connection that can make a huge difference for people often experiencing a challenging time in their lives.

About Lort Smith

Lort Smith is the largest not-for-profit animal hospital in Australia, delivering essential and life-saving services to sick, injured and vulnerable animals. Each year a team of more than 60 vets and 80 nurses provide quality care for around 25,000 animals. Lort Smith also rehomes more than 1,000 animals each year and operates a number of outreach programs which have a significant social impact on the community. Lort Smith receives no ongoing government funding. 

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