With the tragedy in Surfside weighing heavily on the South Florida community, help is coming in the form of unconditional love from four-legged friends.
K-9 comfort dogs have been deployed by the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry to help bring healing to those affected by the tragic condo collapse. The group has sent canines to all parts of the country during other tragedies, such as mass shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School, Pulse Nightclub, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.
Organizers say the dogs are invaluable in times of sorrow.
"Many times people in traumatizing situations -- I can remember Sandy Hook some of the children didn't talk for days until they petted one of our comfort dogs and then told our dogs what happened because they were safe," said Tim Hetzner, president of LCC.
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"We know that we are bringing some comfort and peace in the form of golden retrievers. We're going to be paws on the ground within 24 hours."
Some dogs are coming from Orlando, but the other eight teams deploying to Surfside are coming from all parts of the country. The canines are trained at eight weeks old and taught to "just love on people," Hetzner said.