A Dog's Love

Dogs Arrive In Uvalde To Provide Comfort In A Time Of Grief

The service dogs are helping survivors in the aftermath of the Robb Elementary School shooting.

A young girl pets a comfort dog at a vigil for the 21 people killed at Robb Elementary School on May...
Jordan Vonderhaar/Getty Images News/Getty Images

The people of Uvalde, Texas, are facing unimaginable grief after 19 children and two adults were killed in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School on May 24. To comfort them in their time of need, Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dogs Ministry sent service dogs to help strengthen and heal the community.

In various Facebook posts, LCC K-9 shared photos of the Golden Retrievers in Uvalde as they comforted survivors, family members, first responders, and other residents who are dealing with the aftermath of the tragic event.

“Although there is deep pain in Uvalde, TX the darkness does not prevail,” LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs wrote on Facebook. “Love and hope can still be found here. Thank you for your continued prayers which give us the strength to continue to be present with this grieving community.”

Dogs comfort the community of Uvalde, Texas.

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs are working animals, trained to interact with people of all ages and circumstances. LCC President and CEO Tim Hetzner told Romper that the dogs are trained from the time they are eight weeks old until they are 18 to 24 months old for over 2,000 hours to become service dogs.

The Golden Retrievers arrived in Uvalde in two shifts to give the first wave of dogs time to rest and recover from the emotional trauma they aimed to soothe.

“As our first team of LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Triton, Miriam, Joy, Gabriel, Elijah, Devorah, Cubby, and Abner prepare to return home to rest and restore, a second group of LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs are preparing to deploy and be in Uvalde, TX on Tuesday,” the organization shared over the weekend. “LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs Keren, Job, Pax, Persis, and Phoebe will be available to the families, friends, and community as a comforting and loving presence to those who are grieving the shock and pain of losing 19 children and 2 teachers.”

“The unconditional love and comfort of an LCC K-9 Comfort Dog gives children, as well as their parents or other adults, the opportunity to feel the softness of their fur and the warmth of friendship received from a Comfort Dog who willingly listens without judgement,” a LCC K-9 spokesperson added to Romper.

A dog comforts a little girl in Uvalde, Texas.

On Wednesday, the dogs attended the funeral of Irma Garcia and Joe Garcia at Sacred Heart Catholic Church to be a comfort to mourners. Irma was a schoolteacher killed in the Robb Elementary School shooting, and her husband, Joe, died of a heart attack days later. The couple shared four children.

In 2017, therapy dogs were sent to Las Vegas after a gunman shot into a crowd of 22,000 at a concert, killing 58 people and wounding hundreds. Dogs were also sent to New York and New Jersey to visit victims of Superstorm Sandy, and to Connecticut after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School in 2012.

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs never charge those they serve, but you can donate to the organization’s cause and travel fund here.