Therapy Dogs Help Those Mourning After Parkland Shooting

What to Know

  • The comfort dogs have been helping victims of the Parkland school shooting.
  • The dogs come from the Illinois Lutheran Church Charities.
  • The golden retrievers responded to the devastations at Sandy Hook, Las Vegas and the Boston Marathon bombings.

The Parkland community is still mourning those lost in last week’s tragedy. But there’s one special crew that’s making the rounds across the community, bringing comfort to those who need it the most.

“It doesn’t take away their pain and suffering, but it does take them to a different place for that special moment,” said Richard Martin, of the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry.

Martin was walking Jacob, a K-9 comfort dog. They arrived last Thursday on behalf of Illinois’ Lutheran Church Charities.

The comfort crew is busy, stopping at churches, hospitals and the 17 crosses outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

“Some [people] cry, some smile,” said Martin.

While there’s plenty of pain, but the paws bring a certain sense of calmness.

“There’s no explanation. They just bring happiness even during moments of sadness like this,” said one student.

The golden retrievers responded to the devastations at Sandy Hook, Las Vegas and the Boston Marathon bombings. Their goal is getting victims to open up. Trainers take time to sit down and speak with those in need of some canine comfort.

“It allows them to focus on something good, safe and kind,” said Martin.

They’ve stopped at a dozen Broward County schools over the last three days, including Riverglades Elementary. Heather Meaney says her two kids couldn’t wait.

“They got off the school buses and right there by the cafeteria, they were able to just talk and hug the dogs,” said Heather Meaney, a parent.

The dogs will be in the area through the weekend. 

The church doesn't charge the victims for this service and rely on donations to be able to travel to tragedy sites. If you'd like to make a donation, you can do so by clicking here

Contact Us