Therapy dogs helping Virginia Beach through tragedy

VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - They can’t speak or explain how they feel, but they’ve been used over the past week to help those impacted by the deadly shooting in Virginia Beach.

News 3 spoke to therapy dog owners to learn how they’ve taken action to help the community.

Snoopy is a Border Collie mix who has been given special training, according to his owner, Lori Walter.

“They provide comfort to people that have been through a traumatic event,” said Walter.

Walter said they’re part of the organization Therapy Dogs International.

News 3 met up with some of the dogs Thursday night outside of the memorial at Rock Church.

“It’s very sad, and we’re just glad that we can come and offer support to our church for the ceremony tonight for the vigil service,” said Walter.

She said members of her group got called the night of the shooting and have been helping victims and their families over the course of the week.

Faces of the Virginia Beach mass shooting

Biscuit, is who soon to be 5 years old, has also been hard at work, according to Kay Perkinson.

“We are providing comfort and support and showing unconditional love to the people that are impacted by the Virginia Beach tragedy,” said Perkinson. “She has just been a real trooper visiting. A lot of hugs, smiling, crying - it’s just been amazing the emotions that petting a dog can bring out.”

Before the memorial, the group met up for dinner and got a surprise.

“We all went to Ynot Pizza. Just as we were getting ready to leave, our waiter came out and said somebody had paid for our dinner, and we have no idea who it was,” said Walter.

It was a random act of kindness for a group of strangers trying to help our community get through this very difficult time - one dog at a time.

Click here for our full coverage on the Virginia Beach mass shooting.

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