Methodist Healthcare system sending therapy dogs to assist in El Paso mass shooting

SAN ANTONIO – Methodist Healthcare System will be sending Emergency Services Facility dogs with special handlers who are trained in crisis management to provide comfort to authorities responding to and victims of the the El Paso massacre.

Police said 20 people were killed and 26 others were wounded in the shooting on Saturday.

The dogs, Chanel, Lady and Rudy, will deploy to El Paso on Sunday morning.

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"The rate of suicides by first responders—firefighters, paramedics, law enforcement—has escalated from one every seven days to one a day," Methodist Health Systems said in a news release. "These dogs can reach places in the heart no human can."

The dogs specialize in seeking out individuals in crisis, according to Methodist Health Systems.

The dogs are brough around Methodist Healthcare San Antonio hospitals daily to provide patients comfort.

READ MORE: Police: 20 dead, 26 injured in El Paso shooting, gunman arrested

"This time, the dogs will be staying in El Paso for several days to visit multiple first responder stations as well as all hospitals within the city," the news release states.

According to Methodist Healthcare Systems, the facility dogs are trained more than therapy dogs. The dogs, provided by Service Dogs, Inc. are provided free of charge.

About the Authors

Ivan Herrera has worked as a journalist in San Antonio since 2016. His work for KSAT 12 and includes covering breaking news of the day, as well as producing Q&As and content for the "South Texas Pride" and "KSAT Money" series.

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