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Elijah the Comfort Dog on his way to Odessa after shooting

Updated: Sep. 1, 2019 at 4:18 PM CDT
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WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - It didn’t take long after a shooting was reported in Odessa for handlers Eddie Carlson and Lynette Lackey to start receiving phone calls.

“We’re doing our best to get down there as swiftly as we can,” said Janice Marut, the southwest regional coordinator for Lutheran Church Charities.

As of noon today, Elijah, along with five other comfort dogs across Texas, are en route.

This just a few weeks after returning home from El Paso, a situation that was a first for Lackey.

“Even going now, being there for the first week, I don’t know if to expect the same or a little bit different,” said Lackey.

There are no specifics yet on where Elijah and his team will go. The main priority for Lutheran Church Charities is just getting the dogs there.

“We’ll evaluate the situation once we get there and once we get a chance to work in the community and the church determines what the need is,” said Marut.

“We’ll just go day-to-day with where we can get contact and want to let us in and give them comfort with Elijah," added Carlson.

Elijah was specially requested to help with Odessa, as Carlson is a retired Wichita Falls police officer.

“I have a special place where I can talk to law enforcement officers and know how they’re feeling and what they’ve been through by my experiences as a police officer,” said Carlson.

“Depending on where we’re going and what the situation is we will try to get dogs to fill out that necessary [and] specific need if that’s called for,” said Marut.

All of the dogs are planning to be in Odessa by the city-wide vigil being held at 7 p.m.

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