By Caitlyn Gudmundsen, Senior Manager, Program Development and Outreach
Today’s Front Line Hero is Lutheran Church Charities (LCC), and the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry, which has adapted their services to offer virtual visits during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry is based in Northbrook, IL and includes 130 trained golden retrievers in 26 states. The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs are typically dispatched in times of disaster to provide comfort to people who need it most.
The current stay-at-home orders in most states mean that unfortunately, the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs cannot do physical visits, but the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry continues their services through virtual visits. Many people are experiencing loneliness, isolation, and anxiety amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, and the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs are available to help around the clock. People can request appointments with the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs online, and interact with them virtually from the comfort and safety of their own homes.
LCC President / CEO Tim Hetzner says that many of the scheduled visits right now are for healthcare workers, and iPads are getting passed around emergency rooms so doctors and nurses can interact virtually with the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs. The dogs bring joy and help lower stress for healthcare workers, and Hetzner says, “It’s been rewarding because a lot of hurting people right now just need to talk and have a friendly face and a friendly canine face.”
Thank you to Lutheran Church Charities for continuing the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry and bringing joy and comfort to people across the nation during this stressful time!