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Cultural Events

A Day Of Thanks For Therapy Dogs



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More than 70 therapy dog teams who have been in the community for months will gather at Fairfield Hills for A Day of Thanks to the Newtown Therapy Dogs, hosted by Newtown Veterinary Specialists, on Saturday, June 22, from 10 am to noon.

This event is about learning their stories, taking some pictures, seeing the dogs, and offering heartfelt thanks for all they have done over the past six months.

These dog therapy teams have become like family to the Newtown community: Yale-New Haven Hospital Therapy Dog Volunteers; LLC K-9 Comfort Dog of Addison, Ill.; Therapy Dogs International of Flanders, N.J.; Newtown-Strong Therapy Dogs; Pet Partners; Good Dog Foundation of New York City; Hudson Valley Golden Retrievers Club; and Bright Spot Therapy Dogs, Inc; in addition to many individuals not affiliated with any particular local therapy dog group.

Together, these dogs have come into our homes, churches, fire stations, community centers, and schools. They have worked together with the Crisis Intervention Team and Reed Intermediate School officials from day one and are still offering support with schools and community centers. They have partnered with school counselors, teachers, mental health personnel, and countless other professionals in helping the survivors, parents, first responders, and their families cope with the trauma and stress of 12/14.

Newtown school officials requested dogs in all the schools during that tragic time. They have helped to set a new standard when tragic events happen in neighboring communities like Boston and Oklahoma. They have set a tone for the nation that is fast becoming a safe and reliable way to communicate with each other on a personal level and simply heal.

These four legged friends have helped many in Newtown decompress, and feel safe. They have provided a level of comfort at the schools and the community in general. They have provided a neutral topic of conversation as well as just providing something special to those people in need.

Therapy dogs have been an active part of our community since 12/14, and each dog comes with business cards that have become tradable commodities with children.

A Day of Thanks will also let some of the key players from the community speak for a few minutes about the dogs. Among them are Dr Irvin Jennings, Family & Children’s Aid; Dr John Smith, principal at Reed Intermediate School; Deidre Croce, counselor at Newtown High School; and Ken Murdoch from Save The Children.

The event will be held rain or shine. No outside dogs/pets will be allowed at the event.

For additional information contact NVS at 203-270-8387.

Bella, a Therapy Dogs International certified therapy dog, is pictured on a trading card handed out to school children during her visits. Therapy Dogs International is planning to be part of a special day for therapy dogs and their handers being organized by Newtown Veterinary Specialists.
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