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Golden Retrievers Have Been Dispatched To Newtown To Help Heal Broken Hearts

By / 12.18.12

Oh man. Break out the tissues now. Freaking dogs, man. They are truly the best.

A team of golden retrievers made an 800-mile journey from the Chicago area to Newtown, Conn., over the weekend to comfort those affected by the recent school massacre.

Lutheran Church Charities deployed about 10 of the canines Saturday evening for residents who want to pet them while they talk or pray with the dog’s handler, said Tim Hetzner, president of the Addison-based organization.

“Dogs are non-judgmental. They are loving. They are accepting of anyone,” Hetzner said. “It creates the atmosphere for people to share.”

According to the Chicago Tribune, the comfort dogs, mostly golden retrievers, travel all over the country helping to heal hearts broken by tragedy.

The comfort-dog initiative first started in 2008 at Northern Illinois University after a gunman killed five students. A group of dog caretakers associated with Lutheran Church Charities trekked to campus in hopes of providing a distraction to the student community.

The trip was so successful that weeks later students petitioned university leadership to bring comfort dogs back to campus, Hetzner said.

The initiative has grown from a handful of dogs in the Chicago area to 60 dogs in six different states, he said.

Since then, the dogs have traveled across the nation to comfort people in the aftermath of major tragedies such as, Hurricane Sandy, and the tornado that hit Joplin, Mo.

Here’s a report from NBC on the dogs…

Now can you guys please excuse me as I go look for a golden retriever to adopt?


TAGSDogsgolden retrieversNEWTOWNNEWTOWN SHOOTINGS

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