On Monday, shortly after the horrific Orlando shooting at Pulse nightclub, 12Â comfort dogs packed their bags and headed to Florida.Â The 12 dogs traveled from all over the country (7 states to be exact) toÂ be with the friends and families of the victims and survivors.
According to Paws for People, it's been scientifically proven that comfort animals can help reduce blood pressure, encourage relaxation, lessen depression and reduce anxietyÂ during times of severe emotional and physical stress.
The dogs are from the K-9 Comfort Dogs ofÂ Lutheran Church Charities. TheÂ organization'sÂ websiteÂ says the dogs' names are Barnabas, Gracie, Hannah, Jacob, Jewel, Katie, Kye, Mahiah, Phoebe, Ruthie, Sasha and Susie. They are all golden retrievers.
Why goldens?Â âThey're good dogs by nature, they're a lovable breed. Also, because of their fur, they leave a little of themselves with everyone they meet,â said Tim Hetzner, president of the LCC Comfort Dogs toÂ ABC.
The program started in February 2008 and has since grown to over 100 dogs that live in 23 states. These dogs have provided unwavering love and support to people during times of need rangingÂ from natural disasters toÂ acts of violence.
The comfort dogs have worked to support victims of Superstorm Sandy, the Sandy Hook Tragedy, the Boston Marathon Bombings, the plant explosion in West Texas in 2013, the tornados and storms in Moore, OklahomaÂ and Washington, Illinois in 2013, the 2014Â earthquake in Napa Valley, California, the Marysville-Pilchuck High School Tragedy and the Umpqua Community College Tragedy.
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