Therapy dogs to offer support at NSW courthouses

Published: 12 Jul 2018

After a successful trial, labrador therapy dogs will offer support to vulnerable victims and witnesses at 10 NSW courthouses.

Guide Dogs NSW/ACT is training dozens of labradors as part of the Canine Court Companion Program. Once fully trained, they will provide support at Burwood, Campbelltown, Gosford, Goulburn, Lismore, Manly, Nowra, Orange, Sutherland and Taree courthouses.

Attorney General Mark Speakman said a pilot program in Manly found anxious victims and witnesses felt more relaxed and ready to give evidence after patting the helpful hounds.

“The fab Labs will patrol the courthouses, looking to help anyone who’s stressed and in need of fur therapy,” Mr Speakman said.

Dale Cleaver, CEO of Guide Dogs NSW/ACT, said the organisation will bring comfort and companionship to court users.

“We know that the presence of a dog can help calm people and lower anxiety, and it’s wonderful to see our dogs are already doing this at Manly Courthouse,” Mr Cleaver said.

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