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Austin comfort dogs in Odessa to support victims after mass shooting

Two trained golden retrievers with the Bethany Lutheran Church K9 Comfort Dog program will be providing emotional support to victims of the shooting.

AUSTIN, Texas — Six furry friends from all around the state of Texas, including two from Austin, have arrived in Odessa to support victims, survivors and first responders after the tragic mass shooting in West Texas on Saturday.

Abner and Martha are two golden retrievers who are members of the K9 Comfort Dog program at the Bethany Lutheran Church in Austin.

The goldens will join several other dogs across the nation who are a part of the Lutheran Church Charities program. Currently, about 170 dogs are part of the program. They're all trained in the Chicago area, and later join churches and trained handlers to help out after traumatic events such as the Santa Fe and Parkland shootings and Hurricane Harvey.

The Lutheran Church Charity K-9 Comfort Dogs will be at the Music City Mall in Odessa for the next several days.

They are joined by Elijah (Our Redeemer – Wichita Falls), Gabriel (Messiah – Houston), Joy (Gloria Dei – Houston) and Phoebe (St. Paul – Fort Worth).

The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were also deployed after the mass shooting in El Paso on Aug. 3.


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“We know that comfort is needed at this time to help people heal from yet another senseless and horrific shooting,” said the organization in a Facebook post.

The program is run strictly on volunteers and donations, and they never charge for their services.

You can learn more about the dogs on Facebook and Instagram. And for more information about donating to the program, click here.


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