Comfort dogs aid families of victims and first responders in Orlando

A LCC Comfort Dog offers support in Orlando.

The Orlando, Fla. shooting on June 12 left 49 dead and 53 injured, reported Orlando’s WFAA Channel 8. Canine support appeared the next day.

On June 13, 12 dogs and 20 volunteers who are part of a national organization, Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dogs (LCC Comfort Dogs), headed down to Orlando to offer support to the families of the victims and to first responders, reported ABC News.

The dogs and their handlers were from seven different states, reported CBS News.

“Just having the dogs sit on my feet…. I can take five minutes and regroup myself,” Pulse employee Russell Walker told WFAA Channel 8.

LCC Comfort Dogs was begun in 2008 with four dogs, Tim Hetzner, president of the LCC Comfort Dogs, told ABC News. Today there are over 100 dogs in 23 states. Travel for the dogs and volunteers is crowd-funded by donations.  

LCC Comfort Dogs have been present in the wake of other national tragedies, including the Sandy Hook Elementary School Shooting and the Boston Marathon Bombing, reported ABC News.

Photo credit: © 2016 Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dogs