The “K-9 Comfort Dogs” are part of a Lutheran Church Charities program in which the specially trained therapy dogs serve to calm and connect with injured survivors.
As was the case in Newtown, the comfort they provide tends to extend far beyond hospital room visits.
“We have people simply walking by on the sidewalk who see the dogs … and with the memory of Monday, they break into tears,” said Rev. Ingo Dutzmann, senior pastor of First Lutheran Church in downtown Boston, which is serving as home base for five of Lutheran Church Charities’ dogs.
“It’s the dog that allows them to express their emotions in that way,” he told NBC, “and if you’re hurting, you’ve got to let it go. With a dog, people are not afraid to do that.”
On Tuesday, three comfort dogs flew from Lutheran Church Charities’ headquarters near Chicago to Boston, where they joined two golden retrievers who had been working with grieving pupils and parents at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn.
The five dogs and their handlers will spend the rest of this week visiting bombing survivors at Tufts Medical Center, Massachusetts General Hospital and Brigham and Women’s Hospital, and they’ll keep making hospital rounds next week if needed. The dogs will also be present at First Lutheran Church of Boston at noon today for a memorial service and on Sunday morning for worship services.
“It’s relaxing — takes my mind off of what happened,” said David Yepez, 15, who is recovering from surgery at Tufts Medical Center after being hit in the leg by shrapnel in Monday’s blast. “It’s good to have my mind away from the accident, the doctors. To have a moment of peace. [I haven’t] had many moments of peace.”
The dogs paid a visit Wednesday to Lee Ann Yanni (seen above), just before she underwent surgery on her shattered leg.
“My stress level has gone way down,” said Meghan Bennett, a 25-year-old nursing student who has been caring for bombing victims. “I just love dogs … and this is a distraction from the reality. Patients’ faces light up when a dog walks into the room.”
(Photos: Lutheran Church Charities)
Posted by jwoestendiek April 19th, 2013 under Muttsblog.
Tags: animals, bombing, bombs, boston, boston marathon, Brigham and Women’s Hospital, calming, comfort dogs, community, david yepez, dogs, emotions, golden retrievers, goldens, grief, hospital, injuries, k-9 comfort dogs, lee ann yanni, lutheran church charities, marathon, Massachusetts General Hospital, newtown, pain, pets, sandy hook, school, staff, therapy dogs, tufts, Tufts Medical Center, victims, visits
Hundreds of people gathered outside the Marathon County Courthouse in Wisconsin this week during a hearing for a woman who is accused of killing her boyfriend’s dog and describing her ongoing torture of the animal in her diary.
In a packed courtroom, Sean D. Janas, 20, of Wausau, waived her right to a preliminary hearing Wednesday and was ordered to stand trial on charges of felony mistreatment of animals, giving poison to an animal and obstructing an officer.
Janas is accused of poisoning and stabbing Mary, a 4-year-old Laborador-shepherd mix in June.
According to the criminal complaint, Janas kept a diary describing her intense hatred for Mary, and detailing the abuse she inflicted on the dog, included forcing her to drink bleach and Drano over the course of several months.
Janas faces more than five years in prison and $30,000 in fines if convicted. She remained in jail this week on a $2,500 cash bond.
Those attending her hearing — before Marathon County Circuit Judge Mike Moran — were required to walk through metal detectors, and Marathon County Sheriff’s deputies searched briefcases and handbags, according to the Wausau Daily Herald.
Before and after the hearing, protesters circled the courthouse, seeking justice for Mary and demanding more laws and tougher penalties to combat animal abuse.
“We don’t have tough enough laws that protect animals, and I believe vets should have to report any suspected abuse, just like they would in a child,” said Kelli Obremski, 42, of Mosinee, who brought both her children and her boxer to the protest.
“We’ll come to every appearance we can,” Obremski said. “It’s that important.”
(Photo: Sean D. Janas mugshot)
Posted by jwoestendiek November 2nd, 2012 under Muttsblog.
Tags: abuse, accounts, animal cruelty, animals, bleach, boyfriend, county, courthouse, cruelty to animals, descriptions, diary, dog, dogs, drano, hatred, marathon, mary, pets, poison, poisoned, poisoning, protest, sean janas, stabbed, stabbing, wausau, wisconsin