UVA students pleased to see comfort dogs on grounds

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – University of Virginia Students are trying to cope after dealing with a traumatic incident.

More students have come to the Beta Bridge to visit the growing memorial with flowers and left messages of hope to make sure the three football players who passed away are not forgotten.

“I didn’t go to class either, I think it’s been hitting everyone pretty hard,” Caroline Brinkman, a first year said.

Brinkman is one of the dozens of students still processing the loss of UVA Football players D’Sean Perry, Lavel Davis Jr., and Devin Chandler.

This combo of undated image provided by University of Virginia Athletics shows NCAA college football players, from left, Devin Chandler, Lavel Davis Jr. and D'Sean Perry. The three Virginia football players were killed in a shooting, Sunday, Nov. 13, 2022, in Charlottesville, Va., while returning from a class trip to see a play. (University of Virginia Athletics via AP)

Brinkman drew hearts on the bridge and left a message of hope.

“I think it’s just powerful reading everyone’s messages, it just shows how many people they have impacted on grounds and how many people will miss them,” Brinkman said.

Members of the community are showing support and paying respects at Scott Stadium. They also offered a message.

“Just love one another and if you see someone in need of help, just try to help them,” Francisca Waterman, a community member said.

Volunteers with Crisis Response Canines are walking the grounds with “Oy” and “Millie,” two comfort dogs, to help provide relief to the students who are struggling with grief.

“Animals are a great vehicle to feel compassion and empathy,” Erin Strickland a volunteer with Crisis Response Canines said.

Volunteers have been at UVA since Wednesday morning.

“We’ve been greeted with open arms, we’ve been invited many places to share our dogs to the university to the students,” Debby Rosenberg, another volunteer said.

Volunteers not only work with the community following a traumatic event, but they also work with first responders helping to relieve stress after the shooting.

“It’s really important to reach everyone, and we don’t want to leave anyone behind,” Rosenberg said.

If you or someone you know at the university needs support, you can call UVA’s Counseling and Psychological Services at 434-243-5150, 24 hours a day.

About the Author:

Duke Carter returned to 10 News in January 2022.