LCC K-9 COMFORT DOGS DEPLOYED TO SANTA CLARITA, CALIFORNIA TO BRING LOVE TO STUDENTS AND THE COMMUNITY FOLLOWING A TRAGIC SHOOTING AT SAUGUS HIGH SCHOOL
Two students died, multiple injured
"For the LORD comforts his people and will have compassion on his afflicted ones." Isaiah 49:13
Thursday, November 14 started out like any other day at Saugus High School, Santa Clarita, California as students gathered in the early morning hour in the common area. The day would quickly come to an abrupt halt as a 16-year-old student opened fire taking the lives of two students and then turning the gun on himself inflicting, what turned out to be, a fatal shot.
Within an hour of the shooting, Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) was invited by Pastor Joseph Beran, Bethlehem Lutheran SCV (Santa Clarita Valley) Church in Santa Clarita, California to bring the LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs to be with the students, faculty, and community that surrounds Saugus High School. In less than 24 hours LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry teams were on their way.
The first on the ground was LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Aaron (St. John - Napa Valley, California), Micah (Light of the Valley – Elk Grove, California), and Lois (First Good Shepherd - Las Vegas, Nevada) followed by LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ruthie (LCC Staff) with LCC Director of K-9 Ministries, Rich Martin. The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry teams were also assisted by St. Andrews Lutheran Church in Stockton, California and Faith Community Church in Las Vegas, Nevada who sent ministry team partners. Both churches are in the process of starting a K-9 Ministry.
Central Park in Santa Clarita located less than a mile from Saugus High School soon became a gathering place that was also used as the reunification center for students and their families. There, at the flagpole, a vigil was set up for remembrances where the flag displayed at half-staff.
The K-9s and their handlers met with many students, their families, and the community at Central Park, Mountain View Park, and Bethlehem Lutheran SVC. They also met with first responders to thank them for their services. One evening, the teams had a chance encounter with a Cal Fire Strike Team that was staging for the upcoming Santa Ana winds. The command station for the recent fires in the area served as the same one for the shooting.
There were many “divine” appointments where God had led individuals into the presence of the teams to share their stories.
Please keep the Santa Clarita community in your prayers as they continue to move forward after the tragic event.
LCC never goes where we are not invited and LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry NEVER charges those we serve. We pick up all of our travel, hotel, and meal costs. We also always put boots and paws on the ground within 24 hours (often fewer) from the time we get the invite.