(Photo courtesy flySFO)

Therapy pig to bring holiday cheer to airport travelers

San Francisco International Airport officials are hoping travelers during this holiday season will be squealing in delight when they meet a pig that made its debut today as the latest addition to the airport’s animal therapy program.

LiLou the pig arrived at the airport this morning as part of a program called the Wag Brigade, which brings in pets certified by the San Francisco Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals with the goal of providing animal therapy for travelers, airport officials said.

LiLou, a female Juliana breed pig, is the first known airport therapy pig in the country.

Wag Brigade officials are hoping she will impress travelers with her signature costumes, painted nails and tricks.

SEE RELATED: Busy airports expected during holiday travel season

“We have more than 300 dog, cat and rabbit volunteer teams, but LiLou is the first pig in our program,” SF SPCA Animal Assisted Therapy Manager Jennifer Henley said in a statement. “It’s wonderful to witness the surprise and delight that LiLou brings to people during therapy visits.”

LiLou is no stranger to winning over crowds since she also visits several other facilities throughout San Francisco, including hospitals and senior care facilities, airport officials said.

The Wag Brigade was first launched at the airport in 2013. Animals belonging to the program are carefully selected for their temperament and usually wear vests that read, “Pet Me!” to encourage interaction with travelers, according to airport officials.

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