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Monday, Jun 5, 2023

Airport’s Pet Play Program Takes Flight

Passengers at the Hollywood Burbank Airport can now calm their anxiety about flying with the help of therapy dogs from Traveler’s Tails. The airport-sponsored program that launched Dec. 14 will have service dogs walking down the terminals allowing passengers to pet and play with them before taking off. The Burbank airport developed the program’s name, logo and brand story in conjunction with Burbank-based Woodbury University’s graphic design program. Professor Cate Roman put together an independent study course with four students with third-year student Samantha DeBoda emerging as the lucky winner who came up with the Traveler’s Tails name and the tagline “All Tales Begin Here.” “I was really inspired by the stories, the diverse stories that passengers have, that travelers carry with them and leave,” DeBoda told the Business Journal. “I wanted to go off of that and inspire creating stories even before your flight would take off with the experience they would gain with the dogs.” Inspiration for the tagline came from the accidental similarity of a dog’s tail and a short narrative story. “I really tried to think about storytelling and tried to find those connections between dogs and the experience you’ll get,” DeBoda explained. “Luckily enough, tails and tales just happened.” The program is a free service for passengers with the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, a nationwide therapy dog association, who have registered and certified therapy dogs of all breeds. Woodbury’s graphic design program had exactly one month to come up with the name, logo and brand story. “When I thought of the brand story, I instantly wanted to make a mark that embodies that narrative,” DeBoda said. “I created something that looked welcoming and really flowed and embodied flying and the friendliness of dogs.” Michael Johnston, the airport’s business development specialist, told the Los Angeles Times that airfield officials had been wanting a pet therapy program for a while. About 15 volunteers have signed up for shifts at the airport but Johnston hopes to have around 50 volunteers in the months to come. Woodbury’s Roman pointed to the Traveler’s Tails launch and ongoing marketing campaign as an example of how a school can work with the city where it resides. “We try to expose our students to the idea of design for social impact and get our students involved in creating designs for nonprofit organizations as part of their education,” she said. “As a representative of the graphic design program, I can’t say how important it is for our students to get involved in the community to make peoples’ lives better.” Traveler’s Tails was unveiled the same day the airfield officially changed its name to Hollywood Burbank |Airport. It was previously branded as Bob Hope Airport. However, it bore the name Hollywood-Burbank Airport between 1967 and 1978. – Stephanie Bedolla

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