1. #1

    Team of 'Comfort Dogs' deployed to Sandy Hook area!


    Pictured: A team of Golden Retrievers has been deployed to the Newton Connecticut area to comfort residents of the town still dealing with the school shooting tragedy.

    Golden retrievers are coming to the rescue at tragedy-struck homes in Connecticut's Newtown, reported The Chicago Tribune, three days after an elementary school shooting there killed 20 children and six adults.

    The canine team made the 800-mile trip from Chicago to Newtown in order to provide comfort to those who lost loved ones. Each wears a name-tag card listing his or her Facebook page, Twitter account and email in case people want to find the animal again, according to the Tribune. Nearly 25,000 dogs, and their volunteer owners and handlers, are registered with Therapy Dogs International, a non-profit based in Flanders, New Jersey that sets standards for canines that "bring joy and comfort to those in need."

    Dog handler Lynn Buhrke told the Tribune "dogs have become the bridge" for healing in Newtown. The specially-trained team will join Sandy Hook students for a special after-school animal program today, organizers said. ”There are a lot of people that are hurting,“ project organizer Tim Hetzner of Lutheran Church Charities told the Tribune. It's ”good for the children to have something [to think about] that is not the shooting.“

    Dogs build "the atmosphere for people to share" because they are "non-judgmental" and "loving," Hetzner said. “Dogs are actually furry teddy bears,” Hetzner says. “They’re counselors with fur. Kids relate to that — and adults.” Hetzner explains that petting a dog lowers your blood pressure, which relaxes you and makes you feel more open. This makes it easier for people to talk about what they’ve experienced.

    One boy from Newtown, who witnessed the shootings, hadn’t talked about the experience at all until he spent time with one of the comfort dogs yesterday, Hetzner says. After petting a golden retriever for a while, he started telling the dog about what happened in his classroom.

    https://www.facebook.com/k9comfort

    Sources:
    http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/n...e-rescue-video
    http://www.dailytelegraph.com.au/new...-1226540737042
    http://www.nationalreview.com/corner...etsy-woodruff#

  2. #2
    The Unstoppable Force RICH816's Avatar
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    Ridiculous, people will call me heartless but I firmly believe this is a job for the family. They traveled out 800 miles with dogs that "gave out facebook and twitter pages", forgive me if I think they are cashing in.

  3. #3
    Fluffy Kitten Baiyn's Avatar
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    It's a nice idea. I've heard of these kinds of specially reared dogs making visits to hospices and stuff like that. I can imagine a hug from a lovable Retriever is quite comforting when you're feeling at your lowest.

    This kind of thing always reminds of the Friends episode when Phoebe brings her friend's dog over to keep Joey company while he's feeling down about Rachel and he ends up 'breaking' it because he is so depressing. xD

  4. #4
    The Lightbringer JfmC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RICH1471 View Post
    Ridiculous, people will call me heartless but I firmly believe this is a job for the family. They traveled out 800 miles with dogs that "gave out facebook and twitter pages", forgive me if I think they are cashing in.
    Not everyone has a supporting and loving family. You are right tough, this should be a job for the family, but this is sadly not possible for everyone.
    Also its a non-profit organisation based on volunteers, who cares if they get some media attention?

    And you're not heartless! Just grumpy

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by RICH1471 View Post
    Ridiculous, people will call me heartless but I firmly believe this is a job for the family. They traveled out 800 miles with dogs that "gave out facebook and twitter pages", forgive me if I think they are cashing in.
    Regardless of the true intent of this, these dogs will likely brighten up the lives of those who they come in contact with, especially the kids.

  6. #6
    Fluffy Kitten Callei's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RICH1471 View Post
    Ridiculous, people will call me heartless but I firmly believe this is a job for the family. They traveled out 800 miles with dogs that "gave out facebook and twitter pages", forgive me if I think they are cashing in.
    Who cares? They're volunteers bringing out these dogs to traumatized kids and adults and it helped. That's what should be taken away from this.

    Awesome sig by Elyaan is awesome.

  7. #7
    400,000 dogs there for anyone to adopt and love in the USA

    and people don't adopt or love them

    if dogs helped jack shit, they'd have homes. this is one of those manufactured feel good stories with information on where you can donate
    point is to raise money and awareness of your group. if i lost my kids and i hadn't offed myself yet, i'd probably take it out on comfort dogs.

  8. #8
    The Lightbringer Vellerix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by fizzbob View Post
    400,000 dogs there for anyone to adopt and love in the USA

    and people don't adopt or love them

    if dogs helped jack shit, they'd have homes. this is one of those manufactured feel good stories with information on where you can donate
    point is to raise money and awareness of your group. if i lost my kids and i hadn't offed myself yet, i'd probably take it out on comfort dogs.
    I take it you are not a dog person.

  9. #9
    Scarab Lord Roose's Avatar
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    You go with what works. Many people respond very well to animals. I know that they really help me out when things are in the shitter.

    I would have welcomed them in my town after we were ravaged by a tornado. Anything to get peoples' minds off of the tragedy and bring a smile, even if it is just for a few minutes.

    I would also like to point out that not everyone is able to have pets of their own for a plethora of reasons. Some kids may not even know how well they interact with dogs because they have never been able to have one. Maybe it is this positive encounter that gets that child's parents to go out and adopt from the local pound.

  10. #10
    I'm shocked that this thread is actually attracting negativity. I don't understand people sometimes.

  11. #11
    While I don't think this takes the place of counseling if it helps offer some comfort to the traumatized children I'm all for it. Golden Retrievers usually have lovely temperaments and they are gorgeous dogs. My uncle has one and she's a great dog. We all love her!

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