Comfort Dogs Visit NewtownPublished December 17, 2012
Last Friday, unspeakable tragedy gripped the nation when a lone gunman took the lives of 20 children and six adults before taking his own at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut. In the wake of what can be considered the worst school shooting in American history, the town, and the rest of the country, can only try to come to terms and navigate their way through the aftermath, coping as best as they possibly can with the result of senseless violence.
To aid the grieving process, one Chicago area church has extended a helping hand to those in Newtown. According to the Chicago Tribune, Lutheran Church Charities has sent 10 Golden Retriever comfort dogs to the site of the recent school massacre. Their hope is that the presence of the comforting canines will help those in the town as the town says their goodbyes to those taken too soon.
Comfort dogs provide affection and comfort to those in generally stressful situations, including disaster areas, hospitals and sites of tragedy.
For Lutheran Church Charities, sending Golden Retrievers to comfort those in Newtown was only natural; the program itself was born as a result of a 2008 school shooting at Northern Illinois University which resulted in five deaths. The initiative was so successful that it has continued to grow; the Tribune reports that what began with a handful of dogs in the Chicago area has now expanded to close to 60 dogs across six different states.
Our hearts go out to those in Newtown, and all affected by this ludicrous violence.
What are your thoughts on the tragedy and comfort dogs being sent to help those affected cope? Tell us in a comment.