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Off the Leash Off the Leash

Dogs bring comfort to Connecticut

K-9 team travels to Newtown.

By Vetstreet Dec 17, 2012 4:04PM

A team of 10 golden retrievers who are trained to provide comfort to those in need, traveled with their handlers from the Chicago area this weekend to Newtown, Conn., where a gunman tragically killed 20 children and six adults on Friday.

Photo: CNN via YouTube // Comfort dogs visit children in Newtown, Conn.The dogs are bred and trained by Lutheran Church Charities. They’re placed in schools and churches and visit hospitals and nursing homes — and are often deployed to disaster scenes.

“Dogs are nonjudgmental. They are loving. They are accepting of anyone,” said Tim Hetzner, the organization’s president. “It creates the atmosphere for people to share.”

CNN’s Don Lemon interviewed Hetzner on Sunday night at a makeshift memorial in Newtown.

“I haven’t really seen anyone smiling out here and these dogs showed up and the kids started smiling,” Lemon said.

— Read it at AP via the Boston Herald

Bing: How to help the community of Newtown.

Photo: CNN via YouTube // Comfort dogs visit children in Newtown, Conn.

More from Vetstreet:
A day in the life of Gracie the Grade School comfort dog
13 largest dog breeds that are towering and commanding
5 once-popular dog breeds that are sadly losing popularity
How do I keep the cat out of the Christmas tree?
14 dog breeds you’ve never heard of (but soon will)

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33Comments
Dec 19, 2012 3:26AM
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Pastafazool,  you talk about the christian school would have immediate comfort with prayer. Really?  As a Christian and a parent Give me a Dog for comfort, that dog would be my prayer.  So sad for you, not understanding Gods Love Angels--Dogs.

Dec 19, 2012 2:25AM
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Goldens are wonderful pets. Go to a good breeder, folks. Check their lineage. I've had two golden retrievers and I speak from experience.

Dec 19, 2012 2:16AM
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Even during the darkest of days the company of a dog can provide great comfort.

Dec 19, 2012 12:54AM
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Awww...I know how much comfort and joy my Golden Retriever, Cooper provides me with daily.   I'm so glad there is a team of them putting smiles on the faces of so many who have only know tears since the tragedy. 
Dec 19, 2012 12:14AM
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How sweet. Glad the story was short and I only saw the photo of the dogs, otherwise I would of started crying.
Dec 19, 2012 12:13AM
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Way to go, Lutheran Church Charities; comforting broken hearts is what a church should be all about.
Dec 18, 2012 11:50PM
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God looked down on the earth and said " If it wasn't for dogs I would have blown the whole place up a long time ago."
Dec 18, 2012 11:25PM
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When I read this story, I could barely see thru the tears. I am glad to see there are still some decent people left in this world. God Bless the Lutheran Church Charities, the handlers and those beautiful retrievers!
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