Being a witness or surviving victim of any tragic attack can cause a person to go through psychological trauma such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). PTSD is a major issue in the United States military especially due to being on extended tours of duty in places such as Iraq, Afghanistan, and so forth. According to recent research in the year, dogs and other pets could be helpful lifesavers to veterans that are having to cope with PTSD
. The number of those serving in the US Military diagnosed with PTSD are in the hundreds of thousands. Dogs have been used to assist in the mobility of physical disabled veterans as one example.
Since this is being applied to military servicemen and women, this can be applied to children who are coping with the horrors of something such as the December 14 tragedy at Newtown, Connecticut. In the town of Newtown, 20-year-old Adam Lanza forced his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School and shot to death over 20 people. Most of the victims were just children between the ages of 5 and 10 years of age. The other victims were teachers, the shooter's own mother, and the principal of Sandy Hook Elementary. Its struck an emotional chord with the world let alone the United States and especially let alone the residents of Newtown & the families of the victims.
The funerals for the victims of Sandy Hook have begun to take place
. For the people that were fortunate enough to not get hurt or killed, this experience is going to stick with them. But, support for the students and faculty of Sandy Hook is coming in front all over the world and the country. In regards to pets with veterans with PTSD, the same concept is being applied to the children of Sandy Hook Elementary School.
Lutheran Church Charities, based in the Chicago area, deployed ten golden retrievers
and their dog handlers to Newtown. The mission of these dogs is to provide comfort. Tim Hetzner, the head of the charity group, explained that dogs are nonjudgmental, loving, and accepting of anyone. So far, the dogs have been helpful to provide comfort and a sense of feeling. These dogs have traveled to places to comfort the people struggling to deal with various major tragedies.
This comfort dog initiative was born out of what happened in 2008. In 2008, there was the mass shooting at Northern Illinois University
. The shooter was 27-year-old Steven Kazmierczak. Five people were killed while twenty-one others were wounded.
Overall, on a positive note, those in Newtown can find comfort from these canine guests that came all the way from Illinois. Perhaps it will inspire more people and groups to take up similar initiatives.