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Denver International Airport Celebrates 8 Years of the Canine Airport Therapy Squad, Second Year with GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS® Title

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The Program Remains the ‘Largest Airport Therapy Animal Program’

DENVER – Oct. 30, 2023 – Denver International Airport (DEN) is wagging its proverbial tail today as we celebrate the eighth anniversary of the Canine Airport Therapy Squad (CATS), and the second anniversary of the program’s world record title.

The CATS program began on Oct. 29, 2015, on National Cat Day, with 28 members from 14 breeds. Today, the program includes 100 members and 36 breeds as well as one cat (and of course, their human handlers). The teams have donated over 2,000 hours of their time so far in 2023.

The program is designed to provide stress relief and delight passengers, making traveling a little less ruff. The CATS Team’s adorable faces and wagging tails provide travelers with memorable moments and smiles, and travelers’ experiences at DEN are enhanced through a furry cuddle or pet. Passengers can encounter these extraordinary animals throughout DEN sporting their distinctive violet plaid “Pet Me” vests.

The program attracts volunteers and their pets, a crew that comes in all shapes and sizes. There’s our smallest dog, Otis the Yorkie and our largest, Dublin the Great Dane. Uno the Golden Retriever is part of an original team from the year the program was started, underscoring the commitment of these teams and the popularity of the program. This year, DEN welcomed the first junior handler under the age of 18, in partnership with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs.

As if eight years of helping passengers weren’t enough of a cause to celebrate, the DEN CATS are also celebrating the second year in a row with the official title of ‘Largest Airport Therapy Animal Program” by the GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS®.

“It’s a wonderful day when you get to celebrate making people smile; and that’s exactly what our DEN CATS have been doing for the last eight years,” DEN CEO Phil Washington said. “Donating their time to help passengers travel easier, our DEN CATS deserve infinite gratitude. The entire DEN team is grateful for the time given by these volunteers and their pets, and we know our passengers are grateful too.”

All CATS are registered with a recognized pet therapy association and are trained and insured. CATS volunteer handlers wishing to apply with their pet must have experience working with a recognized animal therapy organization and must be registered with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs or Pet Partners. For more information about joining the program, please email [email protected].


Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. For more information visit www.FlyDenver.com, check us out on YouTube and Instagram, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. Sign up for DEN’s monthly newsletter Nonstop News.


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Denver International Airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. DEN is the primary economic engine for the state of Colorado, generating more than $36 billion for the region annually. Follow us on socials!