Richard Martin, Co-Director of Lutheran Church Charities’ K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry


Richard Martin—Co-Director of Lutheran Church Charities’ K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry, which in recent months, has deployed comfort dogs to Moore, OK after the tornado, to Boston after the bombing, and to Newtown, CT, after the Sandy Hook shooting—discusses the history of the Ministry since it was launched in 2008, and how it’s evolved into upwards of 60 dogs across eight states. 20120109010143EF6124He outlines the training these dogs undergo, including the importance—in contrast to other service dogs—of becoming accustomed to working with multiple handlers. Martin also addresses the importance, when the Ministry is deployed to a disaster site, of monitoring the dogs’ emotional well-being, and being vigilant for signals of their distress, that they need a break, etc.  He also explains how comfort dog trips  to crisis locales are initiated (they only deploy if they’re invited) and how the Ministry’s operation is funded–by donations; it’s a 501 (c)(3)–and that each dog has its own Facebook page.  (


ALSO:  We spoke briefly with Twila Cole, of  the Humane Society of Pinellas, about the organization’s “Pick Me Project,” the chief component of which is their pledge to carry out 999 adoptions in 90 days.  (

COMEDY CORNER: Paul F. Tompkins’  “Alternative Pets”   (

MUSIC: Rebekah Pulley’s “Talking Animals Theme,” My Morning Jacket’s  “Cobra” instrumentals

NAME THAT ANIMAL TUNE: X’s “The Hungry Wolf”

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About the author
Duncan Strauss is the producer-host of “Talking Animals,” which he launched at KUCI in California in 2003, combining his passions for animals, radio, journalism, music and comedy. The show has aired since late 2005 on Tampa’s WMNF. Strauss lives in Jupiter Farms, FL with his family, including four cats, two horses and one dog. He spends each day talking to those animals, and maintains they talk right back to him, an as yet unverified claim.

One Reply to Richard Martin, Co-Director of Lutheran Church Charities’ K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry

  1. Oliver says:

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