Comfort Dog


Comfort Dog Ministry at
St. Matthew Lutheran Church

St. Matthew Lutheran Church is pleased to be a part of the 'Comfort Dog Ministry.'  Lutheran Church Charities ("LCC"), a national ministry with the Lutheran Church Missouri Synod, donated the church's comfort dog, Ladel, a Golden Retriever Comfort Dog, to work with the church's staff in reaching out to the community and ministering to people who are hurting.  Per TIm Hetzner, the president of LCC, "We see dogs as a gift from God that he uses for carrying out his will  - helping and serving people."  

St. Matthew's Comfort Dog Ladel became the first fully devoted comfort dog of a LCMS congregation in September, 2008.  Ladel's birthday is Febrary 7, 2008.  The origin of her name came from her Grandmother's name of Biscuit and her father's name of Gravy.  Naturally, they needed something to serve that up with!  Ladel along with other K-9 Comfort Dogs responded to the May 2011 tornado in Joplin, MO, the March 2012 tornado in Henryville, Ind., to New Jersey after Hurricane Sandy and the Sandy Hook shooting in Newtown, Conn.  She also was a "star" on Good Morning America".  In addition to attending Sunday services, Ladel visits shut-ins, nursing homes, hospitals, schools and attends numerous community events.  Ladel's business card encourages all that she meets to read Romans 5:5. 

MORE COMFORT COMING  -  Our arrival time for our second comfort dog is coming closer!  While we do not know the exact date we are getting serious about traning new handlers & caregivers.  If you are interested email Deb Kinne at

Ministry teams consist of a trained care giver or givers and a comfort dog.  The ministry helps mitigate the emotional and spiritual effects of a crisis or disaster. Petting a dog helps people in pain focus on something outside of themselves, which results in a calmer state of mind.  The dogs lower heart rate and blood pressure can improve moods and helps reduce anxiety. A comfort dog promotes healing, not by curing, but by reducing stress that promotes healing. A trained dog is a magnet to adults and children alike.

You may contact St. Matthew at 847-438-7709 if you would like to learn more or if you would like to donate toward this community outreach. Visit LCC's website at if you would like to make a donation toward their comfort dog sponsorships.  St. Matthew Lutheran Church is located on Old McHenry Road, between Quentin and Midlothian Roads in Hawthorn Woods.  Lutheran Church Charities is based in Addison, IL.