“Central Bark” Relief Area Opens for Dogs at Detroit Metro Airport

Air travel with a dog has plenty of challenges, but finding a place at the airport for your pooch to do his business might top the list.

Usually, passengers flying with dogs — whether they are family pets or service animals — have to bring the canines outside the airport to find a relief area, then wait in line to go back through security again, which can be a hassle for travelers trying to make connecting flights.

But things just got a little easier for pets and their people at Detroit Metro Airport.

Delta Airlines, which has a hub at the airport, worked with PAWS With a Cause to create a dog-friendly facility inside the airport, near one of the gates. Nicknamed “Central Bark” by airport employees, it features two “porch potties” complete with grass and fake fire hydrants for the dogs to use.

One of the “stalls” has fake grass, and the other has live grass, for dogs who want (or need) a more authentic experience.

There are disposal bags for the dogs’ owners to clean up after them, and each grassy area has sprinklers to wash it off for the next customer.  

“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,” says Airport Authority CEO Thomas Naughton. “This is a convenient, time-saving and easy-to-find location.”

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