Therapy dog from Alabama makes trip to Las Vegas to help shooting victims heal emotionally

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MONTGOMERY, Ala. — An Alabama dog traveled across the country this weekend to comfort victims of the Las Vegas massacre.

During the shooting 58 people were killed and more than 500 attending the Route 91 Harvest Music Festival were wounded. Even those who weren’t physically hurt were left with emotional scars from the tragedy.

Willow, who is a service dog, usually works with victims of abuse in Alabama, but she and her handler were invited to Las Vegas along with other dog teams from around the country.

“This is groundbreaking for us. It’s the first time that we’ve ever had facility dog teams to be deployed or called into service outside the area where we serve. We’re very privileged and honored to have been asked to come out here. It’s something we’ve talked about, but never had to put into action until now,” Willow’s handler, Tamara Martin told WSFA.

Willow is expected to bring affection and attention to those in need, WSFA reports.

“She lays next to them, either at their feet or if they’re on a bench, she can lay beside them and they can pet her. She interacts with kids and shows them how she can turn the pages of a book, play cards, shake hands and give high fives,” Martin told WSFA. “She just puts a smile on everybody’s face.”

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