Chicago area comfort dogs headed to Dallas

ByDiane Pathieu WLS logo
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Comfort dogs headed to Dallas
The dogs are headed down to Dallas to help the community heal.

NORTHBROOK, Ill. -- Comfort dogs are heading from Northbrook to Dallas to provide healing after last week's deadly police ambush.

The Lutheran Church Charities Comfort Dogs were invited to go down to Dallas to help with the overwhelming grief after five officers were killed and nine others hurt in a shooting during a peaceful protest.

The golden retrievers bring love and warmth to people experiencing trauma. The group, made up of at least six dogs and 10 adults, plans to visit with the police department, families, residents and even strangers.

"We go generally where the memorial is. In this case, it's two police cars they have kind of set up in a memorial and then just go to the people, the first responders and people in that community that are coming down and just be with people and help them process," said Tim Hetzner of the Comfort Dog Ministry.

The dogs boarded a plane at O'Hare Monday morning. The trip is not always easy for organizers, but they know it's very important.

"It's what we do as Christians, share mercy and compassion, listen to people, it's hard on us but you gotta to remember it's harder on them," Hetzner said.

As they loaded up in the van Monday morning from Northbrook, an area police officer stopped by for a moment with the dogs and to extend condolences and support from the Prospect Heights Police Department to Dallas.

"There is a lot of hard division right now, and it's very reassuring to know that there are still people out there that are willing to travel such a long distance show their support," said Prospect Heights police officer Mike Smith.