Tulare County DA dog, staff spend week in Las Vegas comforting victims of shooting

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Fortune, Tulare County?s two-year-old courthouse facility dog, is drained. (KFSN)

Fortune, Tulare County's two-year-old courthouse facility dog, is drained.

So are his handlers with the Tulare County District Attorney's Office-victim services director Jennifer Lightfoot, and victim advocate Anna Isais. They recently returned from a weeklong trip to Las Vegas. It was anything but a vacation.

"Well it has definitely been the hardest and the most difficult week of my career," Isais said. "We saw crisis after crisis."

During their first day on the ground, the team met with victims of the Las Vegas shooting at Sunrise Hospital, including Sanger native Jessica Milam, who was severely injured in the massacre.

"We saw another woman from the Central Valley that had been shot multiple times in the chest, and when she saw Fortune, she just burst out in tears, and they were happy tears," Lightfoot said. "It was heartwarming to see."

The team also met with a woman shot in the neck who had just regained feeling in her hands and arms. She had seen other dogs during her hospital stay but cried with joy when she was finally able to touch Fortune's soft fur.
They spent the rest of the week at the convention center, helping and talking with dozens of victims, including Spanish speakers--described in detail what they saw, how they escaped, and how being there has forever changed their lives.

"It's difficult," Isais said. "We just listened, let them tell their story."

"This provided us a very unique opportunity that heaven-forbid some type of incident occurred here, now we've got a little more understanding of the logistical nature of that, what it's going to require on our staff," Tulare County District Attorney Tim Ward said.

Fortune, Lightfoot, and Isais will have a few days off.

Ward is proud of the incredibly impactful work they did-- work they say they'll do again in a heartbeat.

The Tulare County District Attorney's Office wants the public to know that they can still provide help to anyone who was a victim of the tragedy. You can call 559-636-5471 or visit https://victims.ca.gov/

Related Topics:
pets-animalsk-9service animaltulare countyTulare County
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