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A Fleet Of Comfort Dogs Flew In To Orlando To Help People Affected By The Shooting

"Oftentimes a dog or an animal can do more for a human being than a human being can."

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"We've always believed oftentimes a dog or an animal can do more for a human being than a human being can," Jane Marsh-Johnson, director of the Gracie Comfort Ministry at Trinity Lutheran Church in Davenport, Iowa, told BuzzFeed News.

"Gracie is known as one of the sweetest," said Marsh-Johnson. "She's always got a big smile."

Her work in Orlando marks her ninth major deployment to an area roiled by tragedy. She has been sent to Oklahoma and Illinois after devastating tornadoes, and has visited Newtown, Connecticut, twice in the aftermath of the Sandy Hook shooting.

"Sometimes family and friends are too uncomfortable to visit their ill or aging loved ones because of their condition," Gelbke said in a statement. "Connecting with an animal, petting or cuddling with it, can bring a smile and warm memories to those who feel ill, lonely, or neglected."

"They can talk, they can cry, they can pet the dog and the comfort really is there," she said. "That gives them the freedom to pour out their hearts and grief without feeling we're interfering."

Gracie is scheduled to visit with victims and families at hospitals caring for people who were injured in the shooting. Zoey is available by request through the Loving Paws of Clermont website.

Leticia Miranda is a retail reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Leticia Miranda at

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