'Charlotte's Litter Awareness Day' to honor Newtown victim's mem - WFSB 3 Connecticut

'Charlotte's Litter Awareness Day' to honor Newtown victim's memory with doggy therapy

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(WFSB photo) (WFSB photo)
Charlotte Bacon and Lily. (Family photo) Charlotte Bacon and Lily. (Family photo)

A Newtown family will be focusing on comfort dogs this weekend.

Saturday is Charlotte's Litter Awareness Day, which was created in memory of Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting victim 6-year-old Charlotte Bacon.

Charlotte's family said she loved her dog Lily. After she was killed, her parents and brother said they wanted to find away to honor her life.

They said therapy dogs helped their family in the months following the tragedy.

That's why they're working to extend that service to others.

"They make people feel safe, they make people feel comfortable," said Joel Bacon, Charlotte's father. "And especially for people who are suffering from trauma or grief, that's an incredibly effective therapy."

The therapy dogs are brought to schools, but also to communities that suffer tragedy.

Some of the dogs are part of the Newtown Comfort Therapy Dogs group, formed in December of 2012.

"We knew that, although we were so needed at that time, a year from now, from then, two years from then, we were going to be just as necessary," said Ann Marie Cioffi, of Newtown Comfort Therapy Dogs.

They were so necessary that the Bacon's son just wrote a book about the therapy dogs he met after his sister died.

The family has already released a book about Charlotte and Lily called Good Dogs, Great Listeners, and it encourages children to read to their dogs.

"It's really satisfying to see that something that meant a lot to Charlotte, we can encourage that, those sort of relationships in other children with other dogs," said JoAnn Bacon, Charlotte's mother.

On Saturday, children will get the chance to read the books, meet the dogs, and honor the little girl who inspired it all.

"It does my heart good to know that we're doing something that Charlotte would have loved," Joel Bacon said.

The therapy dogs will be at Charlotte's custom pink playground on Sea Bluff in West Haven on Saturday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m.

For more information, checkout NewtownKindness.org.

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