Golden Retrievers travel 800 miles to comfort the community of Newtown, Connecticut

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A team of Golden Retrievers traveled 800-miles on Saturday to help comfort those affected by the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Connecticut.

The group of Golden Retrievers from the Chicago area is provided by Lutheran Church Charities. They arrived in Newton to comfort those who are grieving. “Dogs are nonjudgmental. They are loving. They are accepting of anyone,” said Tim Hetzner, president of Lutheran Church Charities. “It creates the atmosphere for people to share.”

The pastor at Newtown’s Christ the King Lutheran Church, which will be holding several of the funerals for the victims of the tragedy, reached out to the Lutheran Church Charities for help. The dogs and their handlers arrived on Saturday evening and spent Sunday meeting and comforting people in the community. “We met with a lot of first responders…and some of the school families,” said Hetzner.

The group then spent Monday at some of the Newtown schools comforting students. The Golden Retrievers who made the journey to provide unconditional love include Abbi, Barnabas, Chewie, Hannah, Luther, Prince, Ruthie and Shanni.

2 thoughts on “Golden Retrievers travel 800 miles to comfort the community of Newtown, Connecticut”

  1. I moved to Newtown 8 years ago so my Golden Retreivers could have ample space to roam using an invisible fence on our large property. I was so glad to hear about the Golden troop that came to Newtown to help lighten a horible load of grief. I know just how affective Golden’s are. Unfortunately both of my boys died within 4 days of each other last week as cancerous tumors in their livers ruptured. My daughter, a teacher in Westport CT., thinks they were called to a higher place to comfort our 20 innocent Newtown angels. Grief is overwhelming my wife and I right now but I would like to know more about the program and what type of training Goldens need to participate with this type of service. Regards, Rich Broderick

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