Therapy Dogs Deploy to Santa Clarita to Comfort Community After Shooting - NBC Southern California

Therapy Dogs Deploy to Santa Clarita to Comfort Community After Shooting

"The people in the school that got shot, I feel bad for them, and I think this really helps for me to feel better," 8-year-old Evan Marin said.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Therapy Dogs Help Community Cope After Mass Shooting

    After the Saugus High School shooting, therapy dogs are helping the community heal. Jane Yamamoto reports for NBC4 News at 11 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 17, 2019. (Published Monday, Nov. 18, 2019)

    A group of trained comfort dogs deployed from all parts of the country came to Santa Clarita to help a community reeling from a deadly school shooting heal.

    Eight-year-old Ruthie got lots of attention Sunday, as the highly trained comfort dog was among four golden retrievers on duty invited to help the Santa Clarita community heal.

    "The dogs are here to help us make us feel better," 13-year-old Edgar Campos said.

    Edgar was part of a Santa Ana based running club stopping by the memorial at Central Park Sunday, holding hands in a circle for a moment of silence in remembrance of the two teens killed during Thursday's school shooting.

    "The people in the school that got shot, I feel bad for them, and I think this really helps for me to feel better," 8-year-old Evan Marin said.

    Feeling better and bringing hope and comfort is what Ruthie and the other dogs are trained to do, helping unite communities after school shootings and other tragedies.

    "[It's] what we call boots and paws on the ground within 24-hours," Director of K-9 Ministries Rich Martin said.

    The K-9s are part of a national donation-based ministry through the Lutheran church charities.

    Each dog is trained starting at 8 weeks old. For Ruthie, her first deployment was 7 years ago after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

    Last year, 5-year-old Aaron was send to Thousand Oaks following the Borderline shooting. The prior year he was in Las Vegas after 58 people were killed during the Route 91 music festival.

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