Katie Comfort Dog helps kids get vaccinated with hugs at Three Rivers clinic

(PHOTO: @threerivers_ph on Twitter)
Published: Nov. 16, 2021 at 10:22 PM CST
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DODGE COUNTY, Neb. (WOWT) - For the youngest of those getting a COVID-19 vaccine, there’s a little more support along the way thanks to Katie Comfort Dog.

“It gives her a sense of relief and comfort almost, like something she enjoys to see, makes her feel more comfortable,” said Keena Plantenga. Her five-year-old daughter was getting her first shot of the Pfizer vaccine at Three Rivers Health Department.

“I think it’s nice to have a dog to help me calm down,” said 10-year-old Mason Buzzle, while petting Katie.

Katie is offering some calm amid a COVID-19 storm. Three Rivers Public Health Department is seeing some of its worst numbers ever.

“Since the middle of October, our case rates have nearly tripled. Last week we had over 420 cases per 100,000 population for the seven days which is the highest rate we’ve had since January 3 and approaching or peak numbers from last fall,” said Caleb Kuddes, Three Rivers Public Health Dept.

Saunders, Dodge, and Washington counties hover just above a 50% vaccination rate.

“If you haven’t, get vaccinated against COVID-19 and since the eligibility has been extended to kids 5 to 11, get your kids vaccinated,” said Kuddes.

“I like it,” said 10-year-old Casey Kern, as he sat near Katie. “She calms me down.”

“Kids drive pandemics, that’s been a message that’s come out from the experts the entire time they get sick they bring the virus home to people who are more susceptible,” said Kuddes.

Katie has traveled the county helping people through natural disasters and more. She’s one of many dogs nationwide serving with Lutheran Church Charities K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry.

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