Immanuel Comfort Dog Ministry

The LCC K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry was initiated by Lutheran Church Charities (LCC) in 2008 and is a national human-care ministry embracing the unique, calming nature and skills of purebred Golden Retrievers. The LCC K-9 Comfort Dogs are a bridge for compassionate ministry, opening doors for conversation about faith and creating opportunities to share the mercy, compassion, presence and proclamation of Jesus Christ.

For more information, visit the Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dog website.

Comfort Dog Ministry -
Making “Paws-itive” Strides!

On December 17th, we officially “unleashed” our Comfort Dog Ministry, here at Immanuel with an informational presentation. There are so many opportunities available for this wonderful Outreach Ministry that has touched Immanuel!

Team training began in February 2018. Training so far has included discussing handler and caregiver commitments, community outreach, ministry helper options, fundraising opportunities and more.

Team meetings are scheduled at 6:30 pm on the first Tuesday of the month, August through May, in the School Music Room. Team Service Projects will be on the church Events Calendar as they are scheduled. Don’t think it’s too late to participate – we need your help and talent!

So just to “speak” about a few of the
most asked questions…

Do we have the funds needed to begin our ministry?
Yes! Many in our congregation have blessed us generously and our Comfort Dog and initial training are fully paid for. We are now on the waiting list to receive our dog. Our Comfort Dog Ministry is a self-sustaining and ongoing ministry – we are not part of the Yearly Church Budget! Ongoing donations are needed and appreciated so we are able to provide for the care of our dog, and for deployment opportunities when they arise throughout the year.

What do you mean by a “waiting list”??
We at Immanuel, along with about 15-20 other churches across the nation, are waiting for our Comfort Dog. Some of the churches are at the same place we are and others are in the process of still raising their funds and getting their teams into place. The LCC (Lutheran Church Charities) has seen such an increase in ministry opportunities for their K-9 Comfort Dog Ministry that they are asking for more volunteer trainers in the Chicago area to keep up with the demand. Right now, there are about 17 dogs in training at various stages of the training process. LCC has quite a rigorous protocol that each pup is required to complete –a minimum of 2000 hours of training! We are anticipating that our Comfort Dog will be here in 2019….we would be pleasantly surprised and extremely blessed if our Furry Friend arrives earlier.

That’s a long time to wait!
Yes…. And No! As we build our team, we have many requirements that we need to fulfill in order to be ready for our dog. For instance, each handler has to not only go through an application process with us, but also LCC and once approved, go through training with our group and in Chicago for our dog – same with our caregivers.

Our ministry helpers will also be trained to help support the handler and dog in various ways while out in our community and on deployment. We need to have those important behind the scenes folks who help with scheduling events, keeping our pup in social media, a photographer, a groomer….plus many other helpers. We have a lot of preparation to accomplish – we want to hit the ground with all four paws when our dog arrives!

Do we know our dog’s name or if it is a boy or a girl?
Nope! – We know that we are getting a highly trained Golden Retriever and that our Comfort Dog Team will be ready to begin immediately taking our pup out into the community and to various events. Most of the dogs have Biblical names, along with their own Bible verse – these are Christian dogs! Some of the dogs have been named in honor of dogs who have served in the military or with law enforcement officers. Along with their assigned Bible verses, all dogs have their own business cards and their own social media pages (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter).

Go to for more information on the Comfort Dog Ministry.

How can I help?
Pray for our ministry here at Immanuel and for the LCC National Group. Come and join our team – we have many opportunities to participate. It’s NOT ABOUT THE DOG! It’s about using the dog as a Bridge to reach those hurting in our world and to show MERCY, COMPASSION, PRESENCE AND THE PROCLAMATION of JESUS CHRIST.

Whom should I contact for more information?
Contact Holly Gillette at 314-960-0919 or

It’s All About God’s Timing!

Commit to The Lord whatever you do and your plans will succeed.

Proverbs 16:3

Thanks for helping Immanuel to make “paws-itive” strides in reaching out into our community to share the Mercy, Compassion, Presence and Proclamation of Jesus Christ.

If you would like to help us with a monetary donation, checks can be made payable to Immanuel Lutheran Church with “Comfort Dog” in the memo line. We hope to have online contributions available soon.

If you would like to help us with a donation of your time and talents, please step on the paw print below.