MINNEAPOLIS - The dog days of summer may be long gone but this winter brings arguably the biggest event Minnesota has ever seen.
Among the first faces many Super Bowl fans will see might just be those with fur.
“So February we’re all gearing up for that in Minnesota so Super Bowl lots going on here we’re expecting at least a hundred thousand people for a couple of days,” Jana Webster, the Executive Director of the Airport Foundation MSP, hopes to have tourists tails wagging when they land.
People are going to walk through the airport they’re going to see a gold retriever or a great Dane laying on the floor and they’re going to go wow and they’re going to cuddle up with them and they’re going to experience that Minnesota is a warm place. They’re going to remember it and they’re going to think that we do things a little out of the box here,” said Webster.
The pack of pups bring their canine charisma to the concourses, and are offering a helping paw to all passengers.
"We want them to feel comfortable we want them to pet her or hug her because a lot of people are missing their dogs,” said Patrick Bettendorf, a member of one of the Animal Ambassador teams.
Gail Daugherty and Bailey, another MSP Animal Ambassador team, see the reaction first hand: “Whenever we’re walking down the concourses you always get a smile, children run up to her and hug her the elderly they say can we sit here for a while.”
Studies have shown that petting a dog or cat can lower blood pressure and release stress levels.
Plus, these four-legged friends provide a break from the hustle and bustle of travel.
“This has been beyond our wildest expectations, we knew that bringing a dog into the airport would get some attention but we didn’t expect to on average have about 20,000 people a month laying on the floor with the dogs,” said Webster.
The Animal Ambassador program has been active for about two years now, but more of man’s best friends will hit the floors of MSP for the February festivities…so don’t be afraid to give the hounds a "hello."