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Sunday, January 24, 2021

Kids Who Care: Erin Flaningan and Jared the Comfort Dog

Credit: WFFT
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Kids Who Care: Erin Flaningan and Jared the Comfort Dog
Kids Who Care: Erin Flaningan and Jared the Comfort Dog

A Concordia Lutheran High School senior 'unleashes' extra care to students with the school's campus comfort dog by providing crisis and spiritual support when needed.

They say dog is man's best friend.

And one student makes this true at local high school.

Tag teaming with a comfort dog every week to help students make it through the day.

Fox 55's mallory beard tells us more in this week's kids who care.

When erin flaningan heard a pup was coming to concordia lutheran high school, she couldn't have been more thrilled.

Erin flaningan//conc ordia lutheran high school senior "it was sophomore year, and mrs. rusher said we were gonna have a comfort dog, and i was like i'm so in!"

Flaningan had heard of therapy dogs and service but the concept of a comfort dog on campus was new.

Pam rusher//jared's handler "a comfort dog is usually there for crisis...at least jared's purpose is for crisis response for kids or adults, anybody really."

Now two years later, flaningan helps pam rusher handle jared through the halls of the school.

Helping students who need a little pep through the day, or even a way to ease their anxiety.

Erin flaningan//concordia lutheran high school senior "people light up when they see jared.

With all the uncertainties, when thehey're ared happier."

Even during the covid-19 pandemic.

Flaningan says students haven't been able to pet jared like they used to but they still feel his presence as she walks him down the halls.

Erin flaningan//concordia lutheran high school senior "jared still comes into school on wednesdays and we always have to remind them, 'hey you can't pet him' and that's the big thing."

Pam rusher "we call them virtual pets."

Rusher says flaningan has the foundation of a sound dog handler.

Pam rusher//jared's handler "...just the ministry that she can bring through jared."

And represents what being a young leader looks like on campus.

Pam rusher//jared's handler "she knows how to handle people and knows when there's sadness and how you can help them get through whatever is going on with them."

With kids who care, i'm mallory beard fox 55 news.

If you know a child who is doing something extraordinary in the community..we want to hear about it and feature them in our kids who care segment.

To share with us, contact mallory beard.her facebook, twitter and email

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