Father of Stoneman Douglas survivor adopts puppy to help comfort son after shooting

Therapy dogs help get Parkland students through transition period

By Christian De La Rosa - Reporter

PARKLAND, Fla. - Therapy dogs have been at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School this week to help comfort students and faculty as they return to the campus following the Feb. 14 mass shooting that left 17 people dead.

One Parkland dad decided to adopt a dog to help get his son through this difficult time.

When Johnathan Sullivan, 15, came home from his first day back at Stoneman Douglas, he knew exactly what he wanted at home. 

At school, therapy dogs are playing a big role in helping students transition back to their daily lives after the shooting.

When Johnathan told his dad he wanted a puppy, his father called Amy Roman with 100+ Abandoned Dogs of Everglades Florida.

"I couldn't wait. I couldn't wait to meet them. I couldn't wait to hand a beautiful puppy to this boy and give them a hug," Roman said. 

Roman quickly found Johnathan a 10-week-old puppy and even waived the adoption fees.

For single dad Joe Sullivan, it was like finally catching a breath.

"(It was the) scariest day of my life, running back to the school and not knowing where he was," Sullivan said. 

Johnathan said getting back to his normal routine has been somewhat difficult.

"You know, there's a bunch of police -- that’s normal," Johnathan said. "Of course I feel safe, but the dogs, you know, help a lot more, and you can just see it. You know, everyone is happy, we're walking around and you almost don't like think about it."

Copyright 2018 by WPLG Local10.com - All rights reserved.