According to NPR, 9 therapy dogs arrived at the site of the Surfside condo collapse in Florida earlier this week, offering comfort to emergency personnel and the grieving families of victims.
All 9 Golden Retrievers came from the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry, spanning from 5 states going as far as Illinois.
On June 24th, the Champlain Towers South Condo in Surfside, Florida, collapsed partially, and since the tragic incident, emergency workers have been searching through the ruins in extremely dangerous conditions, including last week's Tropical Storm Elsa, looking for both survivors and remains.
According to a report on July 15th, the death toll is at ninety-seven, which is possibly the final number.
"We're very concerned about their mental health." Bonnie Fear, the organization's crisis response coordinator, told NPR of first responders. "Our prayer is that they make it through, they find what they need to mentally process and to know, in their minds, that they found someone's loved one, they made a difference for the families. And I hope they hang on to that."
"The numbers line up but that doesn't necessarily mean we're done. We don't know. That's why we can't claim victory yet. On an incident like this it is very rare to get 100 percent," said Alvaro Zabaleta, a spokesperson for Miami-Dade Police. "Until we pick up every piece of rubble and clear it, we can't say we're done."
"The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs have arrived in Surfside Florida to comfort the hurting community," the Lutheran Church Charities wrote in their Facebook post.
The rescue work still continues and the adorable therapy dogs have spent time near a memorial site by the fallen tower, as well as hanging out near a memorial site by the fallen tower, as well as at a Red Cross family assistance center.
The dogs wore blue vents that read "Please Pet Me."
"They're just really sweet and pleasant when someones comes up to them," Fear told NPR.
The Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry was established in 2008, and since then, dogs from the organization have traveled to sites of tragedies like New York and New Jersey's Superstorm Sandy and the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Connecticut, as per the Lutheran Church Charities.
The charity even shared their prayers on Facebook with a cute picture of one of their retrievers:
"We have all been praying for the tragedy in Surfside, Florida. Now I'm also asking for prayers for several teams of my fellow Comfort Dogs who will be arriving today. Lord please keep the teams safe and give them strength and endurance as they bring your love to a hurting community," the post read.
People took to the comments to do the same: "Praying for safety and much strength," one person wrote.
"God these dogs are lifesavers. Please watch over them and protect them while they do their job. Amen," another person wrote.
And finally: "Praying god's blessings on all your work, safe travels comfort."
In this tragic time, we send our love to all families and emergency workers who are struggling right now and would like to say Rest in Peace to all those who've sadly lost their lives.