A team of Golden Retrievers arrived in Newtown, Conn., over the weekend to help grief-stricken residents deal with the school shooting tragedy.
Lutheran Church Charities sent 10 dogs to the town for residents who want to pet them or pray with the dog's handler, Tim Hetzner, president of the organization, told the Chicago Tribune.
“Dogs are non-judgmental. They are loving. They are accepting of anyone,” Hetzner said. “It creates the atmosphere for people to share.”
"The dogs have become the bridge," dog-handler Lynn Buhrke told the Tribune. "People just sit down and talk to you."
When the charities' dogs are not responding to a national tragedy, they will often visit people in hospitals, nursing homes and parks. Each dog carries a business card with its name, Facebook page, twitter account and email so those that meet the canine can keep in touch.