With a new $75,000 indoor canine lavoratory at Detroit Metropolitan Airport, high-flying passengers now have relief from one high-anxiety hassle of traveling with service dogs – along with four-legged fliers.
Unveiled this week and located near Gate A34 in the McNamara Terminal, the no-cost canine rest stop includes two lush patches of grass (one real, one simulated), fake fire hydrant, and a sprinkler system that rinses the grass after each call of doody.
Dubbed “Central Bark,” the joint effort between Delta Air Lines and the airport also provides a sink for filling water bottles and washing hands, as well as a supply of that kind of doggy bag (which must be used by dog handlers to dispose solid waste).
“Prior to the opening of this facility, connecting passengers with service animals would need to go outside to find the relief area on the International Arrivals level,” said Airport Authority CEO Thomas Naughton. “This is a convenient, time-saving and easy-to-find location.”
Although intended for service dogs – who are allowed to move through airport terminals and fly inside plane cabins – officials said that small dogs in carry-on crates can also use the facilities before or after flying.
Most major American airports have designated pet pit stops for travelers but they tend to be outdoors. Detroit now joins airports in San Diego, Dallas-Fort Worth, Minneapolis-St. Paul, and Dulles in Washington, D.C. with indoor facilities.