Dogs comfort Waukesha community after tragedy

WAUKESHA, Wis. (WBAY) – The Lutheran Church Charity’s K-9 Comfort Dog Kit was deployed to Waukesha following the tragedy of the Christmas parade.

Seven golden retrievers, including five from Wisconsin, offered their services during a vigil at Cutler Park Monday night.

Gary Kilvinger, a dog handler from Brookfield, says: “One thing they bring with them is a spirit of compassion, and they have a spirit of presence.

The LCC is a national nonprofit that strives to bring peace during the most difficult times in people’s lives.

“The dogs have been deployed to tragedies across the country. There are over 100 dogs around the country that are part of this program,” says Kilvinger.

Candace, Charity, Mary, Rhoda and Zoey are based in Wisconsin. Bekah and Tobias are from Illinois. They all completed 2,000 hours of training that allowed them to rescue people in seconds.

“The dogs give – at that point – two or maybe five minutes when with the dog, that they (the person) are really relaxed and that they feel less anxious than they did before starting with the dog.” dogs. ,” said Killinger.

Comfort dogs are also there to listen when it can be difficult for someone to share their feelings with others.

“Dogs hear what they’re saying, and that can be some of the things that help them process what’s on their mind and heart,” says Kilvinger.

LCCs attend events to which they are invited and provide free assistance.

“We expect next week we will be at some of the schools, and we can also be at the police department and other events where we can do those things,” said Kilvinger. speak.

The dogs will also help first responders who have helped victims and witnesses to the Christmas parade.

“The dogs are just doing their job. That’s what they’re trained to do, to bring this tranquility into people’s lives,” says Kilvinger.

The LCC’s Hearts of Mercy Department has sent a cross to the prayer service where people can write messages of condolence. The crosses have been moved to the memorial site in Waukesha, where a cross will be placed in honor of those who lost their lives in the tragedy.

To learn more about the LCC K9 Comfort Dog Set, click here.

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