Comfort Dogs Are Flying In From All Over The US To Provide Hope and Support In The Wake of The Orlando Shooting

Lowering Blood Pressure And Offering A Calming Influence, The Comfort Dogs Help Victims And Grievers In Orlando

Comfort Dogs Are Flying In From All Over The US To Provide Hope and Support In The Wake of The Orlando Shooting

by Ruby Norris |
Published on

A team of Golden Retrievers has been sent to Orlando from across the US, to offer a comforting presence and help grieving victims and their families.

Based in Chicago, the Lutheran Church Charities organisation LCC Comfort Dogs has sent the dogs and staff to vigils, hospitals and the homes of survivors and victims’ families to provide some comfort and solace after the terrible attack at Pulse Nightclub.

Tim Hetzner, president of the LCC Comfort Dogs, identifies that the dogs ‘help people relax and calm down,’ as well as taking on the emotions of people in pain. Hetzner also says ‘your blood pressure goes down when you pet a dog, you feel more comfortable, and people end up talking.’

Providing non-judgmental listeners and offering an environment where grievers and victims can feel safe, the Comfort Dogs programme started in 2008 with just four dogs. Now, the programme boasts over 100 dogs across 23 states with Golden Retrievers being sent to Orlando from Iowa, Texas, South Carolina, Illinois, Nebraska, Tennessee and Wisconsin.

After rigorous training with volunteers the dogs are sent out as comforters and will also be working with local hospitals in Orlando to offer some support to injured victims.

The dogs are expected to stay in Orlando for at least a week, but Tim Hetzner has stated they could be there longer depending on the community’s needs. Luna Mendez, who sadly lost two friends in the hateful attack on the LGBT community, has greatly welcomed the Comfort Dogs and supports the notion that 'the best thing everyone can do is get together.’


With vigils in London and across the world, a GoFundMe paige raising millions for the victims, and the news of Disney’s $1 million donation to the OneOrlando Fund, some faith in humanity has been restored as the world rallies in support of the victims and their families.

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Follow Ruby on Twitter @Roobzie

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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