PITTSBURGH (NewsRadio 1020 KDKA) – There’s something about a friendly animal that soothes and calms people. With this in mind, Chicago-based Lutheran Church Charities started the K-9 Comfort Dogs program, a group of specially trained golden retrievers who are dispatched to disasters and tragedies across the country.

Something about petting a dog can say more than a human who may not be able to find the words to consul someone who is grieving.

Dispatched to Newtown, Conn., the dogs have gone from funerals and hospitals, interacting with friends and families of the victims. One child, who hadn’t spoken since the shooting, began talking to one of the dogs.

Another child who witnessed the shootings hadn’t told anyone what he saw, but upon petting one of the dogs, he told the dog the story of what he saw.

KDKA-AM’s Larry Richert talks to Tim Hetzner, President of the K-9 Comfort Dogs, about what they’re experiencing in Newtown and how they have watched the dogs change people’s lives simply by being there.