After the Sept. 16 Navy Yard shooting, the Navy has provided teams of counselors and chaplains, but they also brought in some canine comforters.

Several dogs from the Hope Animal-Assisted Crisis Response have been on the scene since Sept 23.

Research shows that petting dogs can lower anxiety, regulate breathing and decrease blood pressure, and one study found that simply looking at a dog can increase oxytocin levels.

Related on MNN: Why we turn to dogs when disaster strikes