Group Of Special Dogs Arrive In Florida To Provide Comfort In Wake Of Orlando Tragedy

Dogs from all over the United States arrived in Orlando, Florida over the past few days to help comfort people in the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

The comfort dogs are specially trained to help people in times of crisis, by fostering communication and healing by letting people open up and share their grief.

Barney and I will be traveling to Orlando tomorrow with other teams to bring comfort to those who are hurting. Teams are…

Posted by Mahlah Comfort Dog on Sunday, June 12, 2016

Twelve comfort dogs from Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs in Chicago arrived with their handlers on Monday morning after being invited by an Orlando church. Dogs and their handlers are also deploying from Iowa, Texas, South Carolina, Illinois, Nebraska, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

On our way. . .This is the Chicago area group that are departing this morning from O'hare. Four other LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs will be joining us in Orlando.

Posted by Kye Comfort Dog on Monday, June 13, 2016

Tim Hetzner, president of Lutheran Church Charities, said teams are reaching out to anyone that has been affected directly or indirectly by the tragedy that claimed so many lives.

“Everyone wants to pet the dogs,” Hetzner told ABC News. “Some people just want to lay on the ground with them and talk. The dogs are like a bridge for people to talk about what’s bothering them. The dogs are confidential, they’re good listeners and they’re nonjudgmental. And talking about things is one of the most important ways to heal.”

Kye the comfort dog shared an emotional moment in Orlando on Facebook. “When I first saw Russell he was surrounded by the media. A local LGBT activist and an employee of Pulse, he had a lot of people wanting to interview him. But when he and I met, there wasn’t as much talking as there was petting. And then, this smile.”

When I first saw Russell he was surrounded by the media. A local LGBT activist and an employee of Pulse, he had a lot of…

Posted by Kye Comfort Dog on Monday, June 13, 2016

One young woman who lost two friends at Pulse nightclub was overcome with emotion upon seeing the dogs and people there to help. “This is the best thing that everyone can do is get together,” Luna Mendez told ABC News, breaking down in tears. “Oh my God. We’re getting love from everyone.”

Hetzner said, “When you pet the dogs they pick up the emotions of people petting them, and it’s the same way when you’re talking to people and hearing their stories, you feel for them.” He said that the dogs and their handlers plan to stay a week, but it could be longer based on the needs of the community.

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