Airports Use Animals for Maintenance, Security

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HOUSTON (AP) - From horses in Houston to goats in San Francisco, airports are turning to animals to help with maintenance, security and even to comfort passengers.

Airports nationwide are finding animals offer economic and environmental benefits for a variety of tasks.

In Houston, ranchers on horseback ride along the outskirts of Bush Intercontinental Airport to help pinpoint breaks in the fence or notify security of suspicious people and abandoned cars.

In San Francisco, the airport has brought hundreds of goats to munch on overgrown grass to help maintain the area and prevent an added fire hazard in the dry season.

And in Seattle, beekeepers are using what they call an ideal habitat to raise honeybees.

The airport in Los Angeles even recently brought in dogs to help comfort stressed out passengers.