Comfort dogs provide support to Dayton community after mass shooting

Lutheran Church Charities K9 Comfort Dog Ministry (WBNS-10TV)

Several organizations and even a few furry friends are in the Oregon District in Dayton hoping to help those who are trying to heal.

One of the organizations is the Lutheran Church Charities K9 Comfort Dog Ministry. They have 130 dogs in 27 different states that deploy anywhere they are needed after a tragedy.

Today, they are in Dayton walking up and down East 5th Street. A spokesperson for the program, Nancy Borders, said the dogs help decrease the stress people may have and they can provide the love that people may need in difficult times like this.

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She said the dogs let anyone pet them and they will sit with someone for hours. Borders said one of the best parts of a comfort dog is the fact they listen, they are there if someone wants to talk and express their feelings without any judgment.

Three of the dogs that are in Dayton this week from the program are Anna, Rosie and Mercy. Anna lives with Borders in Toledo, Rosie is from Columbus and Mercy is from Kentucky.

Borders said she and Anna have personally provided comfort to people in Parkland, Las Vegas and even in Dayton after the tornados ripped through the city. She said depending on where the dog lives, they can deploy and be somewhere within hours.

Another group that was in the Oregon District today was the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association Rapid Response Team. The team is walking around in blue shirts and a spokesperson for the team said they have people recognize their shirt and immediately ask them for support.

Strib Boyntom said the team is there to listen to people, to pray with them if they want and will always help people know they are loved.

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