You may already know that Southwest Airlines allows for service animals to travel onboard our jets, but did you know that we also assist our furry helpers in their journey toward graduation?
Southwest has recently teamed up with Canine Companions for Independence (CCI) to pilot connecting service dogs in training with their foster families. Although all carriers allow fully-trained service animals, Southwest goes above and beyond to unite pups and families before they reach their forever homes with this pilot program.
Founded in 1975, CCI is a non-profit organization that enhances the lives of people with disabilities by providing highly-trained assistance dogs and ongoing support to ensure quality partnerships. CCI is the largest non-profit provider of assistance dogs, and is recognized worldwide for the excellence of its dogs, and the quality and longevity of the matches it makes between dogs and people. CCI trains four types of assistance dogs: Service dogs, Hearing dogs, Skilled Companion dogs, and Facility dogs—all of which provide specialized assistance to those in need.
This unique partnership helps to increase the dogs’ preparation for full service duties. Southwest gives foster families the opportunity to come and pick up their adopted pup, and experience flying as a service animal before graduation. So, in the truest sense of connecting people with what’s important in their lives, we couldn’t be more proud to welcome the wagging tails and smiling foster family faces onboard our jets this holiday season!