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Newtown Comfort, the comfort dog ministry at Christ the King Lutheran Church, is in Houston this week.
Cathy Reiss, who runs the ministry for the local Lutheran church, told The Newtown Bee this week that she received an August 30 e-mail that was sent to each of the Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) comfort dog ministries, informing them that a K-9 response to Hurricane Harvey was being organized. Churches were asked in that e-mail to let LCC know if their team would be available for deployment.
Christ the King’s team responded immediately. By Friday, September 1, Christ the King’s comfort dog, Maggie, was flying toward Houston. She was joined by one of her handlers for the flight. Pastor Rob Morris and another of Maggie’s handlers have also departed for Houston.
“They all dropped what the were planning on doing this week, including Maggie, and instead volunteered to help provide comfort to those affected by Hurricane Harvey,” Ms Reiss said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help defray the cost of the church group’s travel, lodging, and meal costs. Anyone who would like to help the team can make a tax-deductible donation by visiting gofundme.com/maggie-comfort-dog-hurricane-relief. The team had reached $2,300 of its $6,500 goal by the Friday, September 8.
Should the fund exceed that goal, a note on the gofundme page explains that additional funds will allow further visits by the local team “both in the short- and long-term.”
The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs have spent time at Trinity Klein Lutheran Church in Spring, Tex.; Pilgrim Church in Houston; and Rosenberg Fire Department, Rosenberg, among other locations. Maggie and her handlers are one of 13 LCC teams that were able to get to Houston last weekend.
The Newtown Bee will be speaking with members of Newtown Comfort during the upcoming week. To follow Maggie and her handlers, visit Facebook.com/MaggieComfortDog.