Therapy Animals

SJC was the first airport to offer therapy dogs in the terminals, starting shortly after 9/11 to help calm passengers’ nerves before flying.

SJC’s Interfaith Chaplain Volunteer Kathryn Liebschutz owned a trained rescue/therapy Boxer/Great Dane mix dog named Orion.  She asked for permission to bring Orion to SJC to alleviate travelers’ anxieties about taking to the skies again. Orion was an immediate hit with passengers and employees alike as he and Kathryn spent long hours during that week offering comfort.

Today, SJC has 23 active therapy dogs that stroll through our terminals frequently. There are a variety of breeds and sizes that greet our travelers, each one as full of love as the next.




Desta loves visiting passengers at SJC and has met more than 6,000 new friends since she joined the K9 Crew in the fall of 2017.  Desta typically visits the airport for a couple of hours, walking through both terminals.  She is extremely friendly with strangers of all ages, and will lay down for young children to pet her.


English Labrador Retriever

Having come from Marstad Kennels, Duncan has a few Conformation Show blue ribbons. However, his big talent is a happy, wiggly, non-stop tail wagging greeting. He loves visiting care facilities and kid’s reading events, and he loves giving doggie grins and crazy tail wags to everyone at SJC.


Standard Poodle

Gibson is a retired show dog with Champion titles in Canada and the USA. He loves to play and prance around on walks and hikes. He also loves to be around people.  Sometimes he gets in trouble for hiding things belonging to his brother, Aidan, who is also a member of the K9 Crew.


Cocker Spaniel

Gracie is an absolute people pup and she LOVES everyone she meets! She likes lots of treats for when she is a good girl, which is all the time. Gracie brings in both the paper and the mail for her mom, and loves getting cuddles on the couch.


Maltese/Shih Tzu

Hana is a four-pound bundle of joy. She has her Canine Good Citizenship (CGC) certification, and has been involved with pet-assisted therapy work since September 2013. She loves shaking hands and giving high-fives during her visits at rehab and care facilities. She also loves listening to children read at libraries, book stores, and other reading events. She loves bringing smiles to everyone she meets.