Trauma Dogs Help Kelly's Kids Return to Normal

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Rory Devine

    Some special guests were on campus at the site of last week's school shooting.

    Counselors brought in "trauma dogs"  on Tuesday to help students to feel safe and secure after Friday's shooting on the playground at Kelly Elementary School in Carlsbad. Two second-grade girls, ages 6 and 7, were shot in the arm.

    Trauma Dogs Help Kelly's Kids Return to Normal

    [DGO] Trauma Dogs Help Kelly's Kids Return to Normal
    Some special guests were on campus at the site of last week's school shooting.

    Research shows that petting an animal is soothing and calming, so a number of therapy dogs were brought in for the kids. The students followed the dogs around during recess and lunch. The animal's handlers are crisis counselors, so they are able to talk to the kids right  then and there, if any feelings should come up.
         
    Inside the school, counselors remained available to students, teachers and parents. One of them said families are coming in in big numbers to talk -- both in groups and individually. The families are being told that school is safe and that there are people around them to help if needed.

    "I know it's one in a million chance that this would ever happen again," parent Colleen Loegering said. "But as a parent: She's my baby, you know? And I just want them to be comfortable and happy here, and Kelly's done everything they can to make that happen."

    One district official said that, except for all the extra people and resources at Kelly, it looked like a normal day at the campus on Tuesday. Teachers were told to do what is routine and expected but also to include ways children can express their feelings in their writing or artwork.
      
    And, the official said, students are engaged.

    Some parents told NBCSanDiego that, surprisingly, watching the news coverage of the shooting was comforting to the children -- that they were reassured about their safety by images of the suspect, Brendan O'Rourke, being taken into custody.

    Heroes Describe School Shooting Suspect's Capture

    [DGO] Heroes Describe School Shooting Suspect's Capture
    Several men risked their own safety to stop the gunman.

    O'Rourke is due in court Wednesday.