Dogs are comforting survivors of the Las Vegas shooting

Dogs are comforting survivors of the Las Vegas shooting

The Las Vegas shooting was a horrific tragedy that has left many people drowning in grief, loss, and PTSD. Emotions are running high because people are still in the midst of processing everything that happened and coming to terms with it. Thankfully, therapy dogs have arrived to help comfort survivors.

Why the need for therapy dogs?

What many people fail to think about or remember is that after a tragedy like the Las Vegas shooting, survivors mentally suffer. They need comfort and to be able to talk about what they have seen and lived through. This is why therapy dogs are so vital. Dogs immediately make people relax; dogs cuddle and get people to smile. They also provide comfort while victims talk about their experiences.

The cavalry has arrived

The therapy dogs that are currently in Las Vegas, bringing support to the victims after the shooting, are from Lutheran Church Charities. The charity sent 19 golden retrievers as a first wave of response. The 19 dogs and their handlers will fly out at the end of the week and be replaced by different dogs and handlers.

Where are the dogs being used?

The therapy dogs are visiting hospitals to bring comfort to survivors and their families. They’ve also been to the coroner’s office to help grieving families as they’ve identified family members, and begun working through the logistics of preparing a funeral. They’ve even gone to a high school, where some of the students had been victims of the attack, to provide comfort. Another group that they’re providing comfort to is first responders. Oftentimes, we don’t think about how our first responders are doing after an attack like this. But these dogs are bringing comfort to police, paramedics, doctors, nurses, and other medical staff. It’s important to remember that the people helping also need help sometimes.

Dogs also need to be dogs

It’s incredibly emotional work for the therapy dogs to comfort people. They also need a break in order to recharge. Their handlers make sure that they get the breaks they need. After a couple of hours of comforting, the dogs’ harnesses identifying them as therapy dogs are taken off, and they go to the park to relax and play fetch.

It’s completely wonderful that these dogs were able to go to Las Vegas to comfort survivors of the Las Vegas shooting. It’s an emotionally draining job, but the effects that these dogs have on people are truly inspiring and uplifting.