Up to Date
12:00 pm
Sun June 2, 2013

Getting Comfort From Animals

Your pet always seems to know when you’re upset, and maybe you’ve noticed that cuddling with Fido or Fluffy makes you feel calmer

Some young girls interact with a comfort dog from Lutheran Church Charities after the tornado in Moore, Okla.
Some young girls interact with a comfort dog from Lutheran Church Charities after the tornado in Moore, Okla.
Credit Lutheran Church Charities

On Monday's Up to Date, veterinarian Wayne Hunthausen returns to answer your animal queries and take a look at “comfort pets” and how they work.

We talk with Tim Hetzner, president Lutheran Church Charities and a handler for LCC Comfort Dogs, and Judy Thomasson, vice president of Pets for Life, and examine how they have helped during tragedies, such as Newtown, and how these particular service animals work every day in the Kansas City community.

Dr. Wayne Hunthausen is a veterinarian and pet behavior consultant who has been working with pet owners and veterinarians throughout North America to solve companion animal behavior problems since 1982. He received his Bachelor of Arts (zoology) and Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degrees from the University of Missouri. Dr. Hunthausen is director of Animal Behavior Consultations in the Kansas City area, which provides behavior consultations and training services for pet owners, as well as a behavior support service for veterinarians.

Tim Hetzner has served as president of Lutheran Church Charities since October of 2001. He has served in Parish Ministry for 24 years in the LCMS as a director of Christian education, 22 of those years in the Northern Illinois District. The last 20 years Tim has served as director of discipleship and good samaritan ministries at Immanuel Lutheran Church in Palatine, Ill. He has also been involved at the district level having served two terms on the board of directors, mission board, and board of youth ministry. 

Judy Thomasson has been with Pets for Life since 2001. She and the staff visit hospitals, assisted living facilities, skilled nursing units, youth detention centers, hospices, residential schools, workshops for developmentally delayed and more with dogs,  cats and sometimes a rabbit.

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