NEWTOWN — Nine-year-old Mia Hochstetler collects signatures from her friends at Sandy Hook Elementary School in a small pink notebook.
On the last pages of the notebook, after stickers and felted butterflies, is a list of signatures from the therapy dogs [written by their handlers] who have been at her school every day since the Dec. 14 shootings in which 26 people, including 20 of Mia’s schoolmates, were killed.
Therapy dogs from across the country came to Newtown on Dec. 15; some stayed for a few hours, while others have been comforting the students right through the last day of school Friday.
On Saturday, Newtown community members gathered at the Fairfield Hills campus to honor the dogs and their owners, some of whom came from as far as Illinois. As many as 50 dogs and their handlers attended the event, and more than 150 residents turned out to thank them.
To read more and to view a photo gallery of the kids and the dogs, click here to go to courant.com.