The mass shooting in Orlando, Florida, last weekend — one of the worst in U.S. history — was horrific, and left many of us wondering how we could help. Some, however, knew a way to respond to the tragedy.
Twelve “comfort dogs” visited Orlando this week to console and support those affected by the attack, ABC News reports. Twenty volunteers accompanied the dogs, who are part of the Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dogs. They have also aided victims of the Sandy Hook shooting and the Boston Marathon bombing, among many others.
“They help people relax and calm down,” Tim Hetzner, president of the LCC Comfort Dogs, told ABC News.
“Your blood pressure goes down when you pet a dog, you feel more comfortable, and people end up talking,” Hetzner continued. “They’re good listeners, they’re non-judgmental, they’re confidential.”
The LCC dogs are working with local hospitals and first responders in an effort to give hope and emotional relief to injured victims and all members of the community affected by the violence.