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By Mike Schuh

WHITE MARSH, Md.(WJZ)—The tragedy in Newtown has many people wondering if there is anything they can do.

Mike Schuh has more on the answer found by one group.

This isn’t one of those disasters where you are able to throw money at the problem and know you’ve done some good, so 30 people from our area are taking a more direct approach.

The final travel arrangements have been made at White Marsh Park & Ride.

A group of volunteers and two more the same size will be doing what they can to bring some comfort to those suffering in Newtown.

“Just give them some comfort. It’s a miserable time, the whole community is grieving,” said Dana Kollmann, Pets on Wheels volunteer.

They’re called Pets on Wheels. Sometimes some soft fur and a warm gaze is enough to make people feel better.

“Often times animals are blank slates, and they offer unconditional love. The therapy of touch and hugging someone is non-judgmental,” said Vicki Rummel, volunteer.

Twenty-three animals will be making the trip on Friday, including Jillian, Nalla, Rocky, Zoey, Bailey and Miley.

“We’re going to show up at the memorial tomorrow,” Kollmann said.

“We’re going to go up to Sandy Hook Elementary. There’s a memorial there, and they say there’s another one down by the river close to there, so we’ll spend time there,” Rummel said.

“It’s the most heartwarming and touching feeling in the world. We’ll go into nursing homes, and we’ll see someone who the nurses says don’t interact and we’ll put a dog in their bed and you see them just light up,” Kollmann said.

So now, these four-footed therapists truly get to earn the often used title of man’s best friend.

Their two rented vans will leave White Marsh on Friday at 3.a.m., and they’ll all be driving back late Friday night.

Members of that group are pitching in to cover their own costs.


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