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Comfort dogs from several states arrive in South Florida to help Surfside rescue workers

Nine comfort dogs from several states have been brought to South Florida to help with mental health.
Nine comfort dogs from several states have been brought to South Florida to help with mental health.

NORTH MIAMI, Fla. – First responders in Surfside are getting some four-legged support.

Nine comfort dogs from several states have been brought to South Florida to help with mental health.

The golden retrievers are similar to Miami-Dade Fire Rescue’s therapy dogs that are already on site.

They have the same important job: to help rescuers cope with the extreme emotional toll of the collapse.

“These dogs are here for you,” said Bonnie Fear with the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry. “A lot of times they come up, they’ll fall to their knees, they’ll start crying or they’ll smile. We try not to say anything, we let the dog be the bridge for those people to grieve the loss, whatever they’re feeling.”

The comfort dogs are staying at Holy Cross Lutheran Church in North Miami, waiting to be called to the site in Surfside.

COMPLETE COVERAGE: SURFSIDE BUILDING COLLAPSE:


About the Authors:

Jenise Fernandez joined the Local 10 News team in November 2014. She is thrilled to be back home reporting for the station she grew up watching. Jenise, who is from Miami and graduated from Florida International University, also interned at Local 10 while she was in college.

Eden Checkol co-anchors Local 10's 10 p.m. weeknight newscast on WSFL and also reports on WPLG newscasts. She’s a Minnesota native who is thrilled to leave the snow behind and call South Florida home.