A group of emotional support dogs arrived in Uvalde, Texas this week after an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at Robb Elementary School.
Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) K-9 Ministries provided eight Golden Retrievers for those in need of assistance in the wake of the tragedy.
The trained dogs were sent from across Texas, plus two from Oklahoma and Colorado, to offer comfort to the bereaved.
The dogs were stationed at the vigil, where 21 crosses were erected to represent each life that was tragically ended in Tuesday’s massacre.
Bonnie Fear, LCC’s K-9 crisis response coordinator, told ABC News that the dogs can help ease the anxiety of those who are grieving.
“We just see a lot of shock, crying, [people who are] upset, especially the day after a mass shooting,” Fear said. “People are unwilling to process, listen or answer questions. So we just come with the dogs.”
“We listen when they talk. We are silent. We let the dogs connect with people and they can express their feelings at that point, and we’re not advisors, so we’re just present and standing with them in their grief,” she added.
The group hopes the dogs will make contact with students, first responders and victims’ families.
It’s not uncommon for the dogs to go full force to help those who mourn across the United States during a time of immense grief.
The organization has provided canine assistance in previous mass shootings, including the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting that killed 26 people.
The dogs were sent to Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., after a gunman killed 17 people in the horrific 2018 massacre.
https://nypost.com/2022/05/28/comfort-dogs-arrive-in-uvalde-to-offer-support-after-texas-school-shooting/ Comfort dogs arrive in Uvalde to offer assistance after the Texas school shooting