Orlando Shooting: Dogs From Across The US Are Giving Much-Needed Hope To Victims

Andrea A.
14/6/2016

The day after thedeadliest massshooting in American history which cost 49 people their lives in Orlando, a dozen dogs were sent from all over the country to come to the comfort of the injured, the families of the victims, and all those otherwise affected by the terrible tragedy.

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Source: @LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs

The Christian charity Luthera Church Charities, based in Chicago, was responsible for dispatching 12 Golden Retrievers, which are specially trained to support and comfort those affected.Retrievers are well-know for their great intelligence and empathy, just like Gracie, this 5-year-old pup who lives in Iowa. Gracie is no stranger to visiting schools and hospitals.

Source: @LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs

Tim Hetzner, head of Luthera Church Charities, explained the idea behind thisnew therapy to The Dodo:

Everyone loves petting the dogs. It helps them talk. When you pet a dog, your blood pressure goes down and you relax. When you relax, there's a greater chance that you'll want to talk about what you've been through.
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Source: @LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs

In just one day, the Retrievers brought relief to more than 300 people who had been directly or indirectly affected by the shooting. Witnesses say that they were very much appreciated.

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Source: @LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs

Luna Mendez, a young woman who lost two close friends in the shooting, is clearly very moved by the show of solidarity and the comfort that the dogs brought. Through tears, she told ABC7 Chicago:

Coming here tonight is the best thing I could've done. We're getting love from everywhere...
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Source: @ABC News

"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", adds Tim Hetzner.The dogs will probablystay for another week, or more if necessary. They are expected to provide support in hospitals as well.