Comforting Dogs Help Victims of Traumatic Shooting

By: Nathan Grant

There are wounds that can’t be seen. These wounds require special attention in order to heal.

For the victims of the Las Vegas shooting, there are many lingering wounds – from physical to emotional. One of the greatest tools to aid the healing process?

Golden retrievers.

The LCC-K9 comfort dogs ventured to Las Vegas the day after the attack. The survivors needed care, and these dogs were ready to give it.

The nine Golden Retrievers were a therapeutic means of comfort for the survivors. As well, the dogs attended the candlelight vigils for those that were lost during the attack – providing mental health care through all difficult times.

Therapy dogs have been proven successful at helping those coping with trauma. Therapy dogs are most commonly known for assisting veterans with PTSD, or Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder. The program doing this nationally is Pets for Vets.

The founder of K-9 Comfort Dog Ministries, Tim Hetzner, stated:

“The key is for people to cry and for people to start talking about what they’re are going through, and it’s a key part of the healing process,” said Tim Hetzner, president and CEO of Lutheran Church Charities and founder of the K-9 Comfort Dog Ministries. “The great thing about the dogs, they’re unconditional, confidential and safe.”

He also mentioned, ““[The dogs are] unconditional, confidential, and safe. Dogs have an incredible sense of when somebody is hurting. They’ll just come and lay themselves into somebody’s lap”.

While therapy dogs cannot replace mental health services, the certainly help provide comfort in the wake of tragedy and trauma.

Thank you dogs, for all of your hard work and dedication!

Sources: Travel and Leisure and ABC

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