Living, Sharing, & Celebrating Christ's Love in Our Community

Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod 

Welcome to the St. Paul's Comfort Dog Ministry Page!


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A group consisting of Tom & Cheryl Skelly, Tom & Diane Moore, Lynne Jacobson, Kathy Overley, and Ashley Ausen started meeting June 2016 brainstorming ideas on how to bring a Comfort Dog to St. Paul's Lutheran Church and School. Meetings with Pastor confirmed this a Mission St. Paul's was extremely interested in pursuing. Over a year later, our team has grown, and most recently, Mary has joined our Team! 


    Mary with newly graduated Handlers! Let God's work begin!                              All of our Team! Handlers and Ministry Helpers!              

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March 1-3 Handler Training  Chicago, IL
Wed March 7, 6PM Comfort Dog Hosts Lenten Supper! Fellowship Hall
Sun Mar 18, 10:30AM Passing of the Vest Ceremony Church Service

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We recently received a list of tips to share with you all from LCC. This list will help the Comfort Dog and the handler when you see us out and about!

• Please ask the handler if it is okay to pet the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog.

• Allow the handler to get the dog "settled" and ready to be greeted.

• When the handler indicates, extend your hand or hands under the dog's muzzle or alongside his ears, but NOT above his head. Please pet the dog gently and calmly by the dog's ears, base of the neck, chest and shoulders. It is best to reach from the side rather than moving your hand over the top of the dog's head.

• If the dog begins to lick your hands, please remove them and step back until the handler indicates to try again. Please do not keep your hand by the dog's mouth, as this rewards the behavior of licking. 

• Even if you do not mind when the dog licks your hand, they are not supposed to because they visit hospitals, nursing homes, and hospice facilities. There are many health hazards to both the people and the dog that can be caused by allowing the dogs to lick. It is confusing to the dog if they are sometimes allowed to lick and at other times not.

• Allow handler to re-settle the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog or guide your hand as necessary



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Q: What is some history on the LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry?


Launched in August 2008, the Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry is a national human-care ministry embracing the unique, calming nature and skills of purebred Golden Retrievers. The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs are a bridge for compassionate ministry, opening doors for conversation about faith and creating opportunities to share the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ.

LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs are working animals, trained to interact with people of all ages and circumstances who are suffering and in need. The dogs participate in scheduled and special events. Dogs are permanently placed with churches, schools and other ministries involved in Christian human care by LCC. Permanent placement includes full training for handlers and caregivers along with ongoing support, coaching and training. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs live in the homes of assigned caregivers. The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs serve every day in the community in which they are placed and are dispatched in times of disaster and crisis to bring comfort to all those affected, including first responders and the volunteers who serve them. LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs were in New York and New Jersey visiting victims of Superstorm Sandy, and in Connecticut after the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School. Lutheran Church Charities currently has over 130 LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs serving in more than 20 states. LCC operates two training facilities in Illinois and Nebraska.

Q: What is the difference between a LCC K-9 Comfort Dog, a Service Dog, and a Therapy Dog?

LCC K-9 Comfort Dog:

  • Christian Dog
  • Bridge to show MERCY, COMPASSION, PRESENCE, and PROCLAMATION OF JESUS CHRIST to those suffering and in need. 
  • Calm individuals, facilitate conversation, work with special needs individuals, veterans, elderly, children, homeless, and more.
  • With handlers, respond to crisis and disaster situations.
  • Purebred Golden Retriever that has passed AKC Good Citizenship Test and has completed over 2000 hours of training. 
  • Certified by Lutheran Church Charities.
  • Has handlers trained and certified through Lutheran Church Charities.
  • Has handlers that listen to and pray with those individuals they meet.

Service Dog:

  • An Animal that is individually trained to perform tasks for people with disabilities such as guiding people who are blind, alerting people who are deaf, pulling wheelchairs, alerting and protecting a person who is having a seizure, or performing other special tasks. (US Department of Justice)
  • Under the Americans with Disabilities Act, businesses and organizations that serve the public must allow people with disabilities to bring their service animals into areas of the facility where customers are normally allowed to go. This federal law applies to all businesses ope to the public, including restaurants, hotels, taxis, and shuttles, grocery and department stores, hospitals and medical offices, theaters, health clubs, parks, and zoos. 

Therapy Dog:

  • Volunteer with their owners to provide comfort to others.
  • Usually those pets trained to visit facilities such as schools, hospitals, and nursing homes.
  • Training tends to be basic obedience classes that range from 6 to 12 sessions. 


Coming soon

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