Florida high school shooting: Comfort dogs arrive to soothe the pain

The Lutheran Church Charities “K-9 Comfort Dogs” headed to the Parkridge Church in Coral Springs on Thursday evening for a community prayer vigil for all of the shooting victims at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School. Among the softest of golden haired canines was Jacob; he sat under the trees gently wagging his tail as several children petted him.

The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs had been invited by Rev. Stephen Carretto of St. Paul Evangelical Lutheran Church of Boca Raton, Florida, to bring comfort and compassion to students and their families, faculty, staff and first responders. The organization always waits for an invitation and picks up all of their travel costs including hotels and meal costs.

 “We also always put Boots and Paws on the ground within 24 hours (often less) from the time we get the invite,” the group posted on their Facebook page.

According to TCPalm, the comfort dogs, just like golden retriever Jacob, wears a vest that says “please pet me.” Mike Flaherty, Jacob’s handler and volunteer for the Lutheran Church Charities, says the dogs are knows to lower anxiety and blood pressure.

“We found that kids do better petting a dog than they do talking to a counselor. It calms people down,” stated Mike.

The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs are made up of 100 golden retrievers of which ten have been brought into the Florida city.  so often children and adults frequently find it easier and more comforting to be with the dogs and talk about their traumatic experiences. May all the dogs bring some comfort to the families and friends in Parkland.

If you are moved to help with travel expenses, please visit https://goo.gl/SfCnoo.

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