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See the Bond Between a Sandy Hook Student and a Therapy Dog

Sammy was a Sandy Hook student when the shooting happened in 2012. This touching video shows how a dog named Spartacus continues to help her to this day.

Whitney C. Harris  |  Jan 12th 2017


When tragedy strikes, we can rely upon therapy and comfort dogs to help see us through. After the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in 2012, a dog named Spartacus made a huge difference in the life of one particular student. And this three-minute video depicts the special bond between the pooch and the girl that continues today.

Spartacus is a 125-pound Akita with a gentle demeanor and a gift for healing. Registered through Pet Partners by his dog dad, Brad Cole, Spartacus took a special interest in a young girl named Sammy when she made the brave journey to the local intermediate school to seek the care of comfort dogs and counselors. It was there that Spartacus spent more than two hours with Sammy on her first trip out of the house since the tragedy.

In the video, we learn that Sammy deeply enjoys spending time with Spartacus and relaxing beside him rather than having to talk through her traumatic experience. “She feels very safe when she’s with him,” Sammy’s mother said in the video. The video ends with Sammy jumping on a trampoline and enjoying the simple pleasures of life as a carefree kid.

“Spartacus is a reminder of what’s good, how there can be hope, and how there can be love and kindness,” Cole said.