Broward County

Emotional Support Animals Bring Comfort to Stoneman Douglas Students on 1st Day Back at School

The comfort animals included horses, dogs, a donkey and a goat. One of the horses had "Eagle pride" painted on its side and 'MSD Strong" on the other

What to Know

  • The comfort animals included horses, dogs, a donkey and a goat. One of the horses had "Eagle pride" painted on its side
  • The Humane Society of Broward County was also at the school Wednesday to comfort students

Emotional support animals were at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Wednesday to help students and staff who were returning to the school for the first time since the mass shooting two weeks ago.

The comfort animals included horses, dogs, a donkey and a goat. One of the horses had "Eagle pride" painted on its side and 'MSD Strong" on the other. A woman held a sign saying "free pony kisses."

Michelle Alvarez brought the animals from a farm that helps kids with special needs.

"We know the feelings and the happiness that these animals bring to all of us, we just wanted to come today and spread some love," Alvarez said.

The Humane Society of Broward County was also at the school Wednesday to comfort students.

“The attention and affection of an animal is often a source of relief during difficult times like these. Please know that the Humane Society of Broward County is here to help in the best way we can – through the comfort of our animals,” said Marni Bellavia, manager of the Animal Assisted Therapy Program at the Humane Society.

NBC 6’s Julia Bagg spoke with survivors, officials and the father of one shooting victim as classes resumed Wednesday – with plenty of debate remaining.
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