Although nothing can take away the pain that the families of victims in Newtown, Conn. have been experiencing for the last three days, a group has traveled 800 miles to at least try and offer comfort through cuddling.
A group of “K-9 Comfort Dogs” from the Lutheran Church Charities made their way from Chicago to Newtown over the weekend, according to the Chicago Tribune. It was in Newtown, Conn., that 26 people were shot and killed Friday at Sandy Hook Elementary School, 20 of whom were children.
The Tribune reported the organization’s president, Tim Hetzner, saying that the dogs create “the atmosphere for people to share.” Lynn Buhrke who handles “Chewie,” a female golden retriever, seconded this sentiment.
“The dogs have become the bridge. People just sit down and talk to you,” Buhrke said, according to the Tribune.
Watch this ABC 7 report of the Comfort Dog’s trip to Newtown:
The LCC website stated that the dogs arrived in Connecticut Saturday, where they went to Christ the King church. The dogs also were at the Newtown High School for the event that President Barack Obama attended as well. You can see the dogs that went to comfort the grieving town here.
According to the Tribune, the Comfort Dogs program has 60 dogs in six different states that travel to comfort people in light of national tragedy, but also those in the hospital and nursing homes.
According to an article in National Geographic, research has found that dogs used such a way can help patients feel less lonely. A recent study has also shown that dogs might be able to sense when someone is in need of comfort.
Find more pictures from the Comfort Dogs initiative on their Facebook page here.