Therapy Dogs Visit Students Affected by Parkland Shooting

PetMD Editorial
Published: March 01, 2018
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The students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School endured an unspeakably horrific tragedy on February 14 when 17 of their classmates and teachers were shot and killed. In the weeks since, there has been an outpouring of support and love for the survivors. 

As students in the Parkland region of Florida returned to school this week, the Humane Society of Broward County wanted to lend some hands to help. Or, in their case, some furry paws. 

With the help of their Animal Assisted Therapy teams, the Humane Society's therapy dogs visited Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as well as nearby elementary schools, vigils, funerals and 911 dispatch centers throughout the community. 

"The attention and affection of an animal is often a source of relief during difficult times like these. Please know that the Humane Society of Broward County is here to help in the best way we can – through the comfort of our animals," Marni Bellavia, the manager of the Animal Assisted Therapy Program at the Humane Society, said in a statement. 

Having the dogs around seemed to help many impacted by the shooting, including Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students who shared their experiences with the animals on social media. One student tweeted, "So many sweet pups on campus today," and her classmate tweeted her appreciation and love for a three-legged Greyhound named Lulu 

The Humane Society also reminded those affected by the shooting that they provide therapy dogs, free of charge, "to any school, organization, or group that is in need." 

Image via the Humane Society of Broward County 

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